Updated: Sat, 02 Jul 2022 03:13 PM IST
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday directed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to probe the murder of a 54-year-old chemist Maharashtra's Amravati, who was allegedly stabbed to death for sharing a social media post in support of suspended Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nupur Sharma.
"MHA has handed over the investigation of the case relating to the barbaric killing of Umesh Kolhe in Amravati Maharashtra on 21 June to NIA. The conspiracy behind the killing, involvement of organisations and international linkages would be thoroughly investigated," Shah's office tweeted.
The victim was identified as Umesh Prahladrao Kolhe. He was killed on June 21, nearly a week before the gruesom murder of Lal in Rajasthan. The police suspect that he was allegedly murdered for sharing post in support of Sharma.
"Kolhe ran a medical store in Amravati city. He had allegedly shared a post on some WhatsApp groups in support of Nupur Sharma for her comments. He even mistakenly shared the post in a WhatsApp group in which some Muslims were also members, including his customers," news agency PTI quoted an official as saying.
Till now, the Amravati police has arrested six people, including prime accused Irfan Khan, 32, who runs a non-governmental organisation (NGO). Khan, the police suspect, roped in five people to eliminate Kolhe for his social media post.
It said the incident took place between 10 pm and 10.30 pm on June 21. While he was returning home on his two-wheeler, he was attacked by Khan's associates, the police said, adding that Kolhe's son Sanket and wife Vaishnavi were accompanying him on a different vehicle.
"When all of them reached near Mahila College's gate, two motorcycle-borne men came from behind and blocked Kolhe's path. A youth alighted from the motorcycle and stabbed Kolhe on his neck with a sharp weapon and escaped from the spot. Kolhe collapsed on the road in a pool of blood. Sanket rushed him to a hospital, where he died," PTI quoted the official as saying.
Later, a first information report (FIR) was registered against five people - Muddsir Ahemad (22), Shahrukh Pathan (25), Abdul Thoufique (24) Shoaib Khan (22) and Atib Rashid (22). They all are residents of Amravati and have been arrested.
The Amravati police has also seized the knife that was used in the attack. The CCTV footage has also been obtained that the officials are trying to ascertain the exact reason behind the murder.