Udaipur murder: NIA takes over probe, slams UAPA on accused

Police personnel deployed after the murder of Kanhaiya Lal, in Udaipur, Tuesday, June 28, 2022. Lal, a tailor was attacked by an assailant with a sharp weapon while the other filmed the crime, according to officials. (PTI Photo)


The National Investigation Agency Wednesday registered a case under the anti-terror Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in connection with the "heinous murder" of a tailor in Rajasthan's Udaipur by two people who, the agency said, wanted to "strike terror among the masses across the country".

A spokesperson for the agency said NIA teams have already reached Udaipur and requisite action for expeditious investigation of the case has been initiated.

"The accused persons had also circulated a video of the criminal act in the social media claiming responsibility for the murder in order to trigger panic and strike terror among the masses across the country," he said.

He said the case has been registered under various section of the Indian Penal Code and the UA(P)A.

The case was initially registered at Dhanmandi police station in Udaipur.

?NIA has re-registered a case under sections 452, 302, 153(A), 153(B), 295(A) & 34 of IPC and sections 16, 18 & 20 of UA(P) Act, 1967 against accused who have conspired, planned and committed the heinous murder of Shri Kanhaiya Lal Telli on 28.6.2022 in Udaipur, Rajasthan," the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said the two accused had inflicted multiple injuries to the victim with sharp weapons.

Treating the Udaipur murder as a terror incident, the Centre on Wednesday directed anti-terror agency, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), to extensively probe the "brutal" murder of a tailor in Rajasthan's Udaipur district, especially whether any organisation or international links were behind the sensational killing.

The Home Ministry's official twitter handle said "MHA has directed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to take over the investigation of the brutal murder of Shri Kanhaiya Lal Teli committed at Udaipur, Rajasthan yesterday.

"The involvement of any organisation and international links will be thoroughly investigated.

The Home ministry had rushed a probe team on Tuesday night after a preliminary probe suggested that the two accused, arrested by the Rajasthan police, were influenced by the ISIS, a banned terror group.

The shocking incident

The town of Udaipur witnessed a shocking incident on Tuesday, when Riaz Akhtari, one of the accused, slit Teli's throat with a cleaver, as Ghouse Mohammad, the other accused, recorded the act on a mobile phone.

In the video clip that circulated on social media, one of the purported assailants declared that they had "beheaded" the man and went on to threaten Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying their knife will get him as well.

The accused brandished blood-stained cleavers as they issued the threats.

Both of them were arrested and taken to an undisclosed location for a thorough interrogation.

"Prima-facie, it seems to be a terror case and needs a thorough investigation which includes sifting through their social media profiles," a senior official had said on Tuesday on condition of anonymity.

Akhtari's links have been traced to Pakistan-based Dawat-e-Islami, which has its branches in India as well.

Some of the cadres of the Pakistan-based Dawat-e-Islami have found to be involved in terror incidents, including the assassination of Pakistan's Punjab province Governor Salman Taseer in 2011.

Beheading has been seen to be a common mode of execution in banned terror groups, especially the ISIS and Al-Qaeda.

The gruesome trend saw its beginning in 2014 when several foreigners were killed in similar fashion by the ISIS, which even uploaded the videos of the act on social media.

During the three-decade-long terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, a beheading case was witnessed in 1995, when a terrorist, belonging to Al-Faran, an assumed name of banned Harkat-ul-Ansar terror group, severed the head of foreign tourist Hansa Ostro. His body was found near Pahalgam on August 13, 1995.

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