A 20-year-old engineering student named Nishank Rathore was found dead on a railway track in Madhya Pradesh's Raisen district on Monday, 25 July, following a WhatsApp mysterious message sent from his phone about Prophet Muhammad.
Although the police had earlier ruled out links with incidents related to former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma's controversial remarks and said that the circumstances indicated suicide, State Home Minister, Narottam Mishra, on Tuesday, 26 July, directed them to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the incident.
The message which said "Gustakh-e-Nabi ki ek saza, sar tan se juda" (beheading punishment for disrespecting Prophet Muhammad) was sent to his father Umashankar Rathore.
“The message was sent from Nishank’s mobile phone at 5:44 PM (on Sunday). Nishank died after he was hit by a speeding Grand Trunk Express around 6:05pm,” Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Amrit Meena said, according to PTI.
“There is no doubt that he died after being hit by the train. CCTV camera footage also revealed that he came all alone to Barkheda from Bhopal, about 48 km away, on a two-wheeler,” he added.
What Had Happened?
The deceased, identified as Nishank Rathore, had reportedly gone to Bhopal to collect his degree, the Times of India reported. He was a resident of Seoni Malwa Tehsil in Narmadapuram, which is around 120 km from the state capital.
While driving back to Narmadapuram, he seemed to have changed his mind, the police told The Times of India after reviewing CCTV footage. His body was found near Midghat railway station in Raisen district, which is halfway between Bhopal and Seoni-Malwa.
Police reached the spot and shifted the body to the Obeidullaganj civil hospital in Raisen for postmortem and retrieved a mobile phone, slippers and a two-wheeler.
Additonally, ASP Meena told The Times of India that a post was shared on Nishank's instagram the same time that the mysterious Whatsapp message was sent to his father.
He, however, said that the autopsy reports had confirmed that Nishank had died after being run over by a train. Not only did he have no injuries above his waist, CCTV footage revealed that he had gone to the railway station alone.
He added that Nishank had not sent any objectionable message from his mobile (in the past) and nothing related to Nupur Sharma was found.
“He had never informed the police or his parents that he was feeling threatened. He was not associated with any organisation or a political party. All circumstances are pointing towards a suicide angle,” Meena said.
(With inputs from PTI and The Times of India.)