A 54-year-old chemist was hacked to death in Maharashtra’s Amravati for allegedly making a social media post in support of suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma.
Chemist Umesh Prahladrao Kolhe was stabbed to death in Amravati on June 21, a week before two men hacked to death Kanhaiya Lal, a tailor in Rajasthan’s Udaipur.
Local BJP leaders submitted a letter to police over the murder of Umesh Prahladrao Kolhe, alleging that he was killed to “take revenge and set an example”.
Confirming the same to Aaj Tak/India Today, police said they have received the letter from BJP leaders and are investigating the matter. An FIR has been lodged and six people have been arrested in connection with the case, police said.
“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 told PTI.
According to MHA, an NIA team has reached Amravati and will take over the investigation. The team is examining the matter and taking details from the Maharashtra Police.
“MHA has handed over the investigation of the case relating to the barbaric killing of Umesh Kolhe in Amravati to NIA. The conspiracy behind the killing, involvement of organisations and international linkages would be thoroughly investigated,” the home ministry said in a tweet.
Meanwhile, the Maharashtra ATS team is currently probing the matter. ATS sources said that they are investigating whether there is any terror angle in the case. The ATS is also investigating whether the same pattern was used by the Amravati accused like the Udaipur accused.
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 on 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 have seized the knife used in the crime and obtained the CCTV footage that captured the sequence of events.