Umesh Kolhe, a pharmacist who was mysteriously found murdered in June in Maharashtra’s Amravati district, were the radicalised Islamists linked to the Tablighi Jamaat group who murdered the man as he had supported former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma. Their intention behind the brutal killing was to avenge an alleged insult to Islam and Prophet Muhammad. Sharma was suspended by the party after her remark against the Prophet triggered an international row, with many Muslim nations demanding from the Central government strict action against her. Kolhe was murdered a week before an Udaipur-based tailor, Kanhaiya Lal, was hacked to death on camera by two men. His fault: he had supported Sharma on social media.
NIA, the agency that investigates terror-linked cases, filed the charge sheet in a court on Friday. It said the murder distrubed peace, national integrity and public tranquility. It also described the crime as an act of terror perpetrated by a gang of radicalised men. He was simply killed by the terror gang as he had allegedly hurt their religious sentiments.
“The investigation has revealed that radicalised Islamists of the Tablighi Jamaat committed the murder of Umesh Kolhe on the grounds of allegedly hurting religious sentiments, promoting enmity, ill-will and hatred among different castes and religions, especially between Hindus and Muslims in India, which is prejudicial to the maintenance of social harmony,” the NIA told the court, as per PTI.
Kolhe had no disputes with any one and had no criminal or violent history.
He was killed due to a WhatsApp post in support of Sharma.
They said they were influenced by the ideology that promotes beheading of those who insult the Prophet.
Kolhe was killed for exercising his right to free speech. He was executed as the accused wanted to punish him for the alleged blasphemy, the agency said, adding it was an act of terror carried out to make an example of him.
They accused Irfan Khan, a real estate agent, of being the mastermind of the conspiracy.
Days before the murder, they approached a police station demanding registration of FIR against Nupur Sharma. The police, however, refused saying multiple FIRs can’t be registered at multiple places for the same offence.
Sharma is facing several cases in a Delhi court for her remarks. She has been largely missing from the limelight since making the remark on a television debate show.
With inputs from PTI