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Udaipur killing: Union home ministry hands case to anti-terror agency NIA

In a statement, the Home Minister's Office said, "The involvement of any organisation and international links will be thoroughly investigated."

Kanhaiya Lal Teli

A day after dispatching a team of the NIA to Udaipur in Rajasthan to explore if there was any terror angle to the murder of tailor Kanhaiya Lal Teli, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) Wednesday directed the agency to take over the case.

“MHA has directed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to take over the investigation of the brutal murder of Shri Kanhaiya Lal Teli committed at Udaipur, Rajasthan yesterday. The involvement of any organisation and international links will be thoroughly investigated,” tweeted the office of Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Sources said the Rajasthan Police also invoked charges under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) in the case late on Tuesday as the accused had also threatened to kill Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Sources said while the local police have not invoked charges of terrorism in the FIR yet, it is likely the accused, who have already been arrested by Rajasthan police, will be booked for terrorism.

“Cyber forensic analysis of their phones is being done. It is being examined if they are part of some online group that motivates people for lone-wolf attacks on religious lines. It is being explored if they were part of some self-appointed Islamic State group,” said a senior police officer.

Two men hacked Kanhaiya Lal Teli to death inside his shop in Udaipur on Tuesday, and posted a video online of the incident claiming it was in retaliation for the victim sharing remarks made by BJP’s Nupur Sharma on the Prophet.

The assailants identified themselves in another video as Mohammad Riyaz and Ghouse Mohammad, boasted about the “beheading” and issued death threats to PM Modi and Nupur Sharma. Riyaz and Mohammad, both residents of Udaipur, were arrested from Bhim in the state’s Rajsamand district.

The incident triggered arson and protests in Udaipur, prompting the MHA to send a team of the NIA to the city to “explore” if there was a “terror angle”, and led to security concerns in other states such as Maharashtra.

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According to the police, Kanhaiya Lal Teli had claimed earlier that his son had “mistakenly” posted an “objectionable comment” on Facebook while playing a game on his phone. He also claimed that he had no knowledge of the post until some local residents questioned him.

Rajasthan ADG (Law and Order) Hawa Singh Ghumaria said an additional 600 police personnel were being rushed to the spot, including Additional ADGs Janga Sriniwas and M N Dinesh, apart from 30 Rajasthan Police Service officers.

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State officials said that an SIT has also been constituted with top officers, including ADG (ATS, SOG) Ashok Rathore and IG (ATS) Prafulla Kumar, an SP and an Additional SP, to probe the incident. After Kanhaiya Lal Teli’s murder, authorities also imposed prohibitory orders in Rajasthan for a month, and suspended internet services for 24 hours across the state.

First published on: 29-06-2022 at 11:38:32 am
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