Anti terror agency roped in to probe murder of Maharashtra chemist
New Delhi, July 02: Union home minister Amit Shah on Saturday directed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to take over the probe into Maharashtra chemist's murder over social media post allegedly backing Nupur Sharma.
"MHA has handed over the investigation of the case relating to the barbaric killing of Shri Umesh Kolhe in Amravati Maharashtra on 21st June to NIA. The conspiracy behind the killing, involvement of organisations and international linkages would be thoroughly investigated,''tweeted the home ministry.
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, an official said.
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.
"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.