NIA files charge sheet against 11 in Udaipur tailor’s murder

Updated on Dec 23, 2022 12:28 AM IST

The federal anti-terror probe agency said in a statement that the charge sheet was filed on Thursday before a special NIA court in Jaipur.

Kanhaiya Lal Tel was killed in June. (HT)
Kanhaiya Lal Tel was killed in June. (HT)
By, New Delhi

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has filed a charge sheet against 11 people, including two attackers Mohammad Riyaz Attri and Mohammad Gaus, and two Karachi-based suspects in the brutal killing in June of Kanhaiya Lal Teli, a tailor in Udaipur.

The federal anti-terror probe agency said in a statement that the charge sheet was filed on Thursday before a special NIA court in Jaipur.

Riyaz and Gaus allegedly killed Lal on June 28 for supporting former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nupur Sharma’s controversial remarks on Prophet Mohammed. The accused captured the killing on their phones, posted the clip on social media and issued a threat to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as they proudly posed with the knives used in the murder in the hate crime that shocked the country. The two were arrested hours after the crime that day.

Riyaz is allegedly linked to a Karachi-based organisation, Dawat-e-Islami, and was said to be in touch with people in Pakistan. Dawat-e-Islami’s website says it is a global non-political Islamic organisation working for the propagation of the Quran and Sunnah throughout the globe and that it was established in 1981.

One of those from Karachi named in the NIA charge sheet is Salman, who allegedly instigated Gaus and Riyaz to do “something spectacular” to avenge the insult to the Prophet, an officer familiar with the probe said.

The second suspect from Karachi named in the charge sheet is Abu Ibrahim. “Investigations have revealed that the accused people, operating as a terror gang-module, conspired to take revenge. The accused were radicalised and took inspiration from incriminating audios/videos/messages being circulated from within and outside India,” NIA’s statement said on Thursday.

“The accused arranged deadly knives/arms and murdered Kanhaiya Lal in reaction to his Facebook post and attacked a co-worker in his shop in broad daylight. They made a video of the killing, released and made it viral. They also shot another threatening video with the intentions of striking terror among the people of India,” it added.

Besides the Udaipur killing, NIA earlier this week also filed a charge sheet in the murder of a chemist in Maharashtra’s Amravati district on June 21. The chemist, Umesh Kolhe (54), was also murdered for his social media posts backing Sharma’s remarks on the Prophet.

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