- Amravati police had found inks between social media posts on Nupur Sharma and Umesh's murder
- The chemist had mistakenly shared a post in a WhatsApp group in which some Muslims were also members
- The incident occurred a week before two men hacked to death Kanhaiya Lal in Rajasthan's Udaipur
Amravati killing: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has taken over custody of all the seven accused in the murder of Amravati-based chemist Umesh Kolhe, a police official said on Tuesday. All the accused were granted four days’ transit remand on Monday after they were produced before the Amravati court.
The accused are likely to be produced before the NIA's Mumbai court on or before July 8, the official said.
Amravati police had found inks between social media posts supporting former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma and Umesh's murder during the investigation and didn't suppress the case as was alleged, police commissioner Arti Singh said on Monday.
Police didn't disclose the information earlier, given the "very sensitive" nature of the murder case and to avoid any untoward incident, she said.
The seven are Muddasar Ahmad (22), Shahrukh Pathan (25), Abdul Taufiq (24) Shoaib Khan (22), Atib Rashid (22) and Yusuf Khan (32) and alleged mastermind Shaikh Irfan Shaikh Rahim.
Police are on the lookout for one more suspect Shamim Ahmed in connection with the case.
What happened in Amravati?
Fifty-four-year-old chemist, identified as Umesh Prahladrao Kolhe, was stabbed to death in Amravati city of Maharashtra, with the police suspecting that the accused committed the offence as the victim had allegedly shared a post on a social messaging platform in support of Nupur Sharma, whose remarks on Prophet Mohammad led to nationwide protests and global condemnation.
The accused in the case have been arrested.
The incident occurred a week before two men hacked to death Kanhaiya Lal, a tailor in Rajasthan's Udaipur, with a cleaver at his shop before posting videos online saying that they were avenging an insult to Islam.
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, an official of the City Kotwali police station said.
After that, one Irfan Khan hatched a conspiracy to eliminate Kolhe and roped in five persons for it. He promised to give Rs 10,000 to them and a safe escape in a car, he said.
The incident occurred between 10 pm and 10.30 pm on June 21, when Kolhe was going home on a two-wheeler after closing his shop, he said, adding that his son Sanket (27) and wife Vaishnavi were accompanying him in 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," the official said.
The police seized the knife used in the crime and obtained the CCTV footage that captured the sequence of events.
(With inputs from PTI)