- Incident occurred a week before two men hacked to death Kanhaiya Lal in Udaipur
- Search is on to trace the prime accused Irfan Khan, who runs a NGO
- The police have seized the knife used in the crime
Prophet remark: A 54-year-old chemist 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 chemist, Umesh Prahladrao Kolhe, was killed on June 21, and five persons have been arrested so far in this connection. The incident occurred between 10 pm and 10.30 pm, when Kolhe was going home on a two-wheeler after closing his shop. His son Saket (27) and wife Vaishnavi were accompanying him on a different vehicle.
"Five persons have been arrested in connection with the murder of the chemist and a search is on to trace the prime accused Irfan Khan (32), who runs a NGO," Amravati commissioner of police Dr Aarti Singh said on Saturday. "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, 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. Based on Saket's complaint, an FIR was registered and five persons, identified as Muddsir Ahemad (22), Shahrukh Pathan (25), Abdul Thoufique (24) Shoaib Khan (22) and Atib Rashid (22), all residents of Amravati and daily wage workers, have been arrested. The police have seized the knife used in the crime and obtained the CCTV footages that captured the sequence of events. Police commissioner Singh said the exact reason behind the murder is being ascertained.