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Udaipur Tailor Killed Over Supporting Nupur Sharma Had Sought Police Cover

Kanhaiya Lal was murdered in Udaipur over a social media post supporting suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma.

Published
India
3 min read
Udaipur Tailor Killed Over Supporting Nupur Sharma Had Sought Police Cover
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Kanhaiya Lal was at his tailoring shop in Udaipur's busy Dhan Mandi market on the afternoon of Tuesday, 28 June, when his attackers walked in, posing as customers.

He had been taking the measurement of one of the two men, who suddenly brought out a cleaver and charged at Lal, a video shared by the assailants on social media shows. "Kya hua? Batao toh sahi (What happened? Tell me)," the tailor can be heard asking in the chilling clip that has sparked public horror.

A ban on large gatherings has been imposed in Rajasthan for one month after the gruesome murder of Kanhaiya Lal over a social media post in support of suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma.The two men who filmed the killing – Gaus Mohammad and Mohammad Riyaz Akhtari – have been arrested.

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Notably, merely two weeks before his killing, Lal had told the police that he was getting death threats and had requested security cover.

What Did Kanhaiya Lal Post?

Kanhaiya Lal had made a social media post in support of BJP's Nupur Sharma, who had recently elicited widespread condemnation for her remarks against Prophet Muhammad.

Following the post, Lal was arrested on 10 June in an FIR registered against him at Dhanmandi Police Station, under IPC sections 295 A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings) and 153 A (promoting enmity between groups and disrupting harmony). The case had been filed based on the complaint of Nazim Ahmad, an Udaipur resident.

Lal had been released on bail by the court the next day.

The tailor had claimed that his son had “mistakenly” posted an “objectionable comment” on Facebook while playing a game on his phone, The Indian Express reported, citing the police. He also said that he had no knowledge of the post until some local residents questioned him about it.

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After Death Threats, Kanhaiya Lal Had Sought Police Protection

On 15 June, Kanhaiya Lal had submitted a written complaint saying that he was receiving threat calls and had sought police protection.

In his letter to the police, Lal had said that Nizam Ahmad had allegedly been conducting a reconnaissance of his shop for the past three days and was not allowing him to open it. “I have heard that they will try to kill me as soon as I open my shop,” he said.

“They have made my name and photo viral in their community’s group and said that if anyone spots me anywhere, I should be killed since I have made an objectionable post,” the letter stated.

Kanhaiya Lal had skipped work for several days after he received the threats, his wife Jashoda told NDTV.

A local BJP leader has alleged that the police failed to act on Lal's appeal, leading to the loss of his life.

ADG (Law and Order) Hawa Singh Ghumaria has stated that the concerned SHO had called the persons who had allegedly been threating Lal. "And then, 5-7 responsible people from both communities sat down and reached an agreement. In a handwritten note, Kanhaiya Lal said he doesn’t need any more action against anyone. Hence, the police did not proceed on the security threat,” he told The Indian Express.

Meanwhile, ASI Bhanwar Lal, posted at Dhan Mandi police station, has been suspended for negligence. It is alleged that the ASI did not pay heed to Kanhaiya Lal’s concern regarding the threat calls.

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The Videos & the Murder

On 17 June, one of the men who claimed responsibility for the murder of Kanhaiya Lal posted a video indicating that he would be committing the crime. In that video, the alleged killer had said that his video would go viral on the day he commits the murder.

On Tuesday, 28 June, the video of the brutal act also surfaced on social media. After perpetrating the crime, the accused persons posted another video in which one of the purported assailants declared that they had beheaded the man and then threatened Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying their knife will get him as well.

The assailants admitted that they killed the tailor and threatened the prime minister for lighting “this fire," saying that they would douse it.

Lal's mortal remains were taken to his native place in Udaipur on Wednesday.

The horrific killing has elicited public outrage, with several political leaders, including Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, and AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi condemning Lal's murder.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has directed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to take over the investigation of the case. The involvement of any organisation and international links will be thoroughly investigated, the ministry has said.

(With inputs from The Indian Express.)

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Topics:  Rajasthan   Udaipur   Tailor 

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Edited By :Padmashree Pande
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