THE NATIONAL Investigation Agency (NIA) has made its tenth arrest during its investigation into the murder of Amravati-based chemist Umesh Kolhe.
On Friday, the tenth accused, Shaikh Salim Shaikh Chhotu, and two others arrested earlier this month were produced before the special court. In a hearing, which was in-camera, the NIA sought further custody of the accused arrested earlier, Abdul Arbaaz and Mushfique Ahmed, stating that it wants to probe further into their roles and on the involvement of other accused. The special court sent the three to NIA’s custody till August 17.
Kolhe was murdered on June 21 while he was on his way home after closing his shop in Amravati.
The Maharashtra police, which initially investigated the case, had said that Kolhe was killed allegedly for a social media post supporting BJP’s Nupur Sharma who had made controversial comments on Prophet Mohammed in a TV debate.
The NIA told the court that the three accused’s role was in harbouring the accused and in planning the conspiracy. The NIA also submitted that Call Data Records and bank account details of the accused have to be probed to find links to the larger conspiracy including its financial aspects.
An application was submitted on behalf of the accused that they had not given confession or intended to give one to the investigators.
The accused through their lawyers said that their custody was not needed as their bank documents and mobile phones were seized.
The court allowed the NIA’s plea for their custody. Previously, seven accused were arrested by the state police. The case was then transferred to the NIA.