A Pakistani national, who had crossed the international border to kill former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma for her remarks against Prophet, was arrested by the Border Security Force (BSF) last week in Rajasthan, police officials said on Tuesday.
Rizwan Ashraf (24), a resident of Mandi Bahauddin district in Pakistan’s Punjab province, was nabbed from near the India-Pakistan International Border fence in the Sriganganagar sector, they said.
“On the midnight of July 16-17, a person crossed the border and came near the fencing. BSF guards challenged him and later arrested the person who was later handed over to the Hindumalkot police station. An FIR was registered and a multi-agency joint interrogation committee (JIC) was formed to question him,” Sriganganagar SP Anand Sharma told reporters.
Two knives, including a cleaver, three religious books, a comb, hair oil, electric tester, map, food, clothes and a national identity card of Pakistan issued in 2019 along with some other items were recovered from him, police said.
“The primary information that has come out of the JIC is that this person is Rizwan Ashraf, 24, a resident of Pakistan. We have recovered some clothes, religious books, two knives, water bottles and some eatables. In preliminary interrogation he said that he wanted to come here to take action against Nupur Sharma over her objectionable statements,” said Sharma.
Sharma added that the man didn’t have any idea about Sharma’s whereabouts or how he would reach her but he was ‘religiously motivated’ and had come to India.
Officials said that the accused is presently in police remand.
An FIR has been registered against the accused under sections of the Foreigners Act, Indian Passport Act and Arms Act, police said.
Police sources said the accused had taken part in a religious meeting in Pakistan and after being motivated, he had planned to kill the BJP leader. The arrest comes in the backdrop of now-suspended Sharma’s remark on Prophet which had led to protests at many places across the country.