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Udaipur killing: Two more arrested; Rath Yatra procession taken out amid heavy police deployment

The Special Operations Group and the ATS of the Rajasthan Police issued a statement saying media reports claiming that the NIA said there was no terrorist organisation's hand in the killing were “premature” because the investigation is in a preliminary stage.

udaipur killingKanhaiya Lal Teli.

The Rajasthan Police on Friday arrested two more accused for the murder of Udaipur-based tailor Kanhaiya Lal on June 28, with officials saying they were involved in the conspiracy to plan and execute the crime. The two main accused in the case, Mohammad Riyaz and Ghouse Mohammad, who filmed a video after the murder of Lal, were sent to the high security jail in Ajmer late on Thursday night.

“We have arrested two more accused, Asif Hussain and Mohsin Khan. They have been found to be involved in the abetment of the crime. Both are residents of Udaipur,” Anti-Terrorism Squad ADG Ashok Rathore told The Indian Express on Friday.

The Special Operations Group and the ATS of the Rajasthan Police issued a statement saying media reports claiming that the NIA said there was no terrorist organisation’s hand in the killing were “premature” because the investigation is in a preliminary stage.

A senior official, who is a part of the special investigation team probing the murder, said that apart from the video made after the killing of Lal, Riyaz had recorded a video more than 10 days before the murder. In the next few days, the accused meticulously planned the murder, which the accused said was committed after Lal allegedly shared remarks on the Prophet made by suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma, the official said.

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“At least one of the two accused has been seen in CCTV footage from cameras near Lal’s tailoring shop a few days before the murder. This suggests that they had been planning the murder for some time,” said the police official.

Meanwhile, members of the Jain community, under the banner of Mahaveer Sena, on Friday submitted a memorandum to the Udaipur district administration, demanding security for a community member who, according to the group, was mentioned in the video made by one of the two main accused in Lal’s murder. This person, too, had reportedly shared a post in support of Nupur Sharma.

Members of the Hindu community in Udaipur on Friday took out a large religious procession on Friday on the occasion of Rath Yatra. There was heavy police deployment to avoid untoward incidents during the rally.

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“The deployment of police personnel is more than 2.5-3 times the usual deployment strength. Around 2,000 police personnel have been deployed for the Rath Yatra, including seven to eight IPS officers and additional SPs, deputy SPs and inspectors who were previously posted here and have done this duty 10-15 times. Battalions of the RAC and STF have also been deployed to ensure that no untoward incident takes place,” ADG Dinesh M N, who has been sent to Udaipur from Jaipur to control the law-and-order situation, told reporters on Friday before the rally.

Earlier on Thursday, the state government had transferred 32 IPS officers, including the Udaipur SP and IG. IPS officer Vikas Sharma is the new Udaipur SP while IG Prafulla Kumar, who was part of the SIT constituted to probe the murder of Lal, is the new Udaipur range IG.

After taking charge on Friday morning, Kumar, along with other officials of the district administration took stock of the security arrangements in Udaipur before the Rath Yatra.

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“The Rath Yatra procession is proceeding peacefully and there has been no untoward incident. A crowd of around 7,000-8,000 people are participating in the yatra, which covers an area of around 4.2 kilometres…,” said Udaipur divisional commissioner Rajendra Bhatt.

Meanwhile, the ban on mobile internet services imposed in some areas after the killing has been extended in three districts of the Jaipur division — Jaipur, Alwar and Dausa — till 5.30 pm on Saturday.

In another development, following reports that the motorcycle used by the two main accused to escape after the killing of Lal had a registration number of 2611, a possible reference to the 26/11 Mumbai attacks of 2008, Udaipur RTO confirmed that one of the accused had chosen this number in 2013.

The motorcycle, recovered by police from the accused, has the registration number of RJ27AS2611 and is registered in the name of Mohd. Riyaz Attari, one of the two main accused in the case.

“Anybody who wants a vehicle registration of their choice, they can get the number after submitting a demand draft of Rs 1,000. In our records, he (Riyaz) got this 2611 number after paying Rs. 1,000,” Udaipur RTO Prabhu Lal said on Friday.

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Court officials said the Kanhaiya Lal murder case has been transferred to the NIA court in Jaipur from Udaipur on Friday.

“Following an order of the MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs) on June 29, the NIA court in Jaipur had yesterday written a letter to the district court in Udaipur, requesting the transfer of the case from Udaipur to the NIA court in Jaipur. NIA SP Ravi Choudhary presented an application in this regard, following which district judge Udaipur has ordered the transfer of the case files to the special CBI court in Jaipur, which is designated for NIA cases. Now all further hearings will be in Jaipur,” said Praveen Khandelwal, standing counsel, Government of India, in Udaipur on Friday.

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Officials said that the two accused arrested on Friday would be presented before the NIA court in Jaipur on Saturday.

First published on: 02-07-2022 at 01:08:49 am
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