A Special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Tuesday, 20 September, granted an additional 90-day time to the NIA to file a charge sheet in the murder case of pharmacist Umesh Kolhe, who was stabbed to death in Maharashtra's Amravati district in June.
The police claimed that Kolhe's social media posts in which he had allegedly supported former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nupur Sharma's controversial remarks against Prophet Muhammad led to his death.
On Monday, NIA had sought an extension of 90 days to file a charge sheet alleging that the arrested accused were misleading the agency. 10 persons have been arrested in the case, while four are absconding, the NIA said.
The central agency said that in order to complete the chain of events (that led to the murder) with “cogent and reliable evidence,” it will require another 90 days.
It further said that the accused were misleading the probe agency and as a result, they had to record the statements of 20 witnesses last week and it will require time for corroboration.
Advocate Ali Kaashif Khan, representing the accused, opposed the NIA's plea for extension saying that the probe agency can't put words into the mouth of the accused in order to get the answer it wants.
The accused have a right to remain silent, but they cannot mislead the investigation, NIA added.
The Amravati murder took place on 21 June around 10 pm, when Kolhe had closed his shop, Amit Medical Store, located in Rachana Shree Mall near the Amravati Tehsil office, allegedly over a social media post shared in support of BJP leader Nupur Sharma's controversial remarks.
In a similar case, a tailor in Udaipur was killed by two men, Gos Mohammad and Mohammad Riyaz Akhtari, for endorsing Sharma's controversial remarks.
The controversial remarks made by former BJP leader Nupur Sharma against Prophet Muhammad during a TV debate had triggered wide-spread protests across the country besides drawing international condemnation from Arab nations.