Nagpur/Amravati: In a shocking turn-of-events, the probe conducted by Amravati Police has revealed that a week before tailor Kanhaiyalal Teli was hacked to death in Udaipur; a middle-aged man was killed in an act of religious radicalism in Amravati district, on June 21.
According to cops, Umesh Prahladrao Kolhe, a 54-year-old chemist, was killed allegedly in retaliation for a social media post supporting BJP’s Nupur Sharma who had made controversial comments on the Prophet in a TV debate.
Initial investigation by the City Kotwali Police Station in Amravati following a complaint by Umesh Kohle’s son Sanket Kohle led them to arrest two persons Muddasir Ahmed (22), and Shahrukh Pathan (25), on June 23. Their interrogation revealed the involvement of four more persons, of which three — Abdul Toufiq (24), Shoaib Khan (22), and Atib Rashid (22) — were arrested on June 25. One Shamim Ahmed Firoz Ahmed is absconding.
The incident took place between 10 pm and 10.30 pm on June 21 when Umesh Kolhe was on his way home after closing his shop ‘Amit Medical Store’. Sanket (27), and his wife Vaishnavi were accompanying him on another scooter.
In his complaint, Sanket told the police, “We were moving from Prabhat Chowk and our scooters had reached the Mahila College New High School’s gate. Two men on a motorcycle suddenly came in front of my father’s scooter. They stopped my father’s bike and one of them stabbed him on the left side of his neck with a knife. My father fell and was bleeding. I stopped my scooter and started shouting for help. Another man came and the three fled the spot on the motorcycle.”
With help from people around, Kolhe was rushed to a nearby Axon Hospital where he died during treatment.
A senior police officer from Amravati city police said, “The five accused arrested so far have told us they sought the help of another accused who provided them with a car and Rs 10,000 to run away.”
The officer said one of the absconding accused had assigned the other five specific tasks for the murder. He had asked two of them to keep an eye on Kolhe and alert the other three when he left the medical store. The other three obstructed Kolhe and assaulted him. An FIR was registered by the City Kotwali police station following Saket’s complaint.
“During investigation we learnt that Kolhe had circulated a social media post supporting Nupur Sharma on WhatsApp. By mistake, he posted the message on a group with Muslim members who were also his customers. One of the arrested accused said this was an insult to the Prophet and hence he must die,” a source said.