Nearly two years after a murderous assault on a Ratlam-based Hindu activist, the police have arrested three Muslim youths, including Rizwan Sherani, who was already in jail in connection with the murder of Bajrang Dal leader Kapil Rathod, who was shot dead in September 2014.
Rizwan was a member of Ahl al-Suffah, a Ratlam-based Islamic proselytising and charity group that became active after Muzaffarnagar riots. A breakaway faction of this group was recently busted in the communally sensitive town for its members’ alleged affiliation to an Islamic State-linked Jihad cell planning strikes in India.
Rajesh Kataria, who was then convener of Hindu Chetna Manch, was shot by motorbike-borne youths in Salakhedi on July 29, 2013. In his 40s, the right-wing activist survived the attempt on his life though he was hit by one bullet.
Rizwan, who allegedly fired the shots while riding pillion, Sameer, alias Raja Barik Hanif Khan, 25, and Shahid Farid Khan, 32, were remanded in a day’s police custody by a court Thursday.
Sameer, a resident of Kazipura, and Shahid, a resident of Sheranipura, had already been arrested. Their three-day remand ended on Thursday and they were remanded in further custody for a day.
Rathod was involved in cow protection campaign. He and his employee were shot dead on September 27, 2013, a couple of hours after an attempt was made on the life of a Muslim Congress councillor. The town was brought under curfew that day after arson and rioting.
Kataria had not named any suspects and the Station Road police had filed an FIR against unknown persons. The police said they got a clue about attack on Kataria from some people who are in jail in connection with the riots.