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HomeIndiaTurkish TV beheadings, crossed out Nupur Sharma photo – what ‘instigated’ Udaipur...

Turkish TV beheadings, crossed out Nupur Sharma photo – what ‘instigated’ Udaipur tailor killing

NIA Thursday filed chargesheet against 11, including 2 alleged Pakistanis, in Kanhaiya Lal murder — killed for 'supporting ex BJP leader Nupur Sharma on controversial comment against Prophet'.

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New Delhi: Visuals of beheadings of those considered gustakh-e-rasool (one who speaks against Prophet Muhammad) from the Turkish show Eratugul Gazi, videos of speeches by leader of the right-wing political outfit Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), Hussain Rizvi, calling for revenge for alleged insult to the Prophet and photos of former BJP leader Nupur Sharma marked with a crossed sign. These were some of the things circulated on the WhatsApp group “Labbaik ya Rasoolullah” (We are present o’ messenger of Allah), where those accused of killing Udaipur tailor Kanhaiya Lal earlier this year, were encouraged to accomplish the deed, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has said in a chargesheet.

A photo of Lal as a gustakh-e-rasool, was also shared on the group, calling for his beheading, the chargesheet, which was filed Thursday, has claimed.

Lal was killed in Udaipur on 28 June this year, allegedly by two cleaver-wielding men — Riyaz Attari and Mohammad Gos, who posted a grisly video online claiming responsibility for the “beheading”. Both accused were arrested hours later.

Lal was killed for reportedly putting up a social media post in support of former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma, who was suspended for making controversial comments on Prophet Muhammad.

The NIA has filed a chargesheet against 11 people, including two alleged Pakistani nationals, in connection with the murder.

Also read: ‘My husband employed Muslims’ — Kanhaiya Lal’s family now wants same fate for perpetrators

Killers in touch with Pak nationals on WhatsApp

According to the chargesheet, details of which have been exclusively accessed by ThePrint, Gos and Attari were both in touch with Pakistan-based Abu Ibrahim over WhatsApp, who the NIA claimed radicalised the two and encouraged them to kill supporters of Nupur Sharma.

According to intelligence sources, Gos got acquainted with a man, identified only as Salman in the chargesheet, during visits to Pakistan in 2014 and 2019 and was encouraged to take revenge from “kafirs (infidels) in India” who disrespected Nabi (Prophet). Gos also told investigators that Salman was associated with the TEL and Dawat-e-Islam, a fact that the agency has not yet been able to corroborate with evidence, claimed the sources.

While TLP is a far-right Islamic political party in Pakistan, founded by Khadim Hussain Rizvi and known for its demand that Shariya be established as the Islamic fundamental law in Pakistan, Dawat-e-Islam is an extremist religious group that has been associated with several incidents of violence linked to the issue of blasphemy, across the world. The group is known to carry out charitable activities and also has branches in India. The members of this group use ‘Attari’ as a part of their names.

According to investigators, all three men — Gos, Attari and Salman — interacted between 22 August last year and 2 June this year, over WhatsApp and had many exchanges on Islam and punishing kafirs.

“Ghouse during investigation disclosed that both Salman and Abu Ibrahim instigated him to take revenge for Nupur Sharma’s comments. He said that Salman guided him to watch videos related to TLP on YouTube, emphasising the Arabic phrase “Man Sabba Nabiyan Faqtuluhu” which means “who insults the Prophet, kill him’,” claimed a source in intelligence.

“This is what encouraged him to plan and execute the killing,” the NIA has said in its chargesheet.

The investigators claimed to have also found that Salman, who is said to be in Pakistan, was constantly sharing posts on the Whatsapp group instigating members to take revenge against Nupur Sharma and her supporters for their alleged insult of the Prophet.

When the NIA questioned other members of the group, who have been named in the chargesheet, they told the investigators that it was Riyaz Attari who had added them to WhatsApp group, claimed sources. The members are also claimed to have told the investigators that the group was earlier called ‘Allah ke Bande’ (followers of Allah), but its name was changed to ‘Labbaik Ya Rasoolallah’ after the Nupur Sharma incident.

Investigators claimed to have been told that Riyaz Attari became furious after the episode involving the former BJP leader and started sharing purported audio and videos related to the agitation against Nupur Sharma and her supporters by the Anjuman Committee at Udaipur, which runs madrasas.

“Although we have sufficient digital evidence to prove that Ghouse and Riyaz planned the killing and how they were encouraged to do it, we are yet to corroborate the role of the two Pakistani men with evidence,” a source in the intelligence said.

‘Shared video in group after beheading’

At the time of Lal’s killing the Whatsapp group had several members, many of whom have been booked by NIA in connection with the case.

Among the men chargesheeted are, Mohammad Riyaz Attari and Mohammad Gos, who allegedly executed the murder. Mohsin Khan, Asif Hussain, Mohammad Mohsin, Vasim Ali, Farhad Mohammad Sheikh, Mohammed Javed, Muslim Khan, Salman and Abu Ibrahim. The chargesheet mentions the last two as being Karachi-based, while it claims the others to be from Udaipur.

Sources in intelligence claimed, a detailed analysis of the content on the group has revealed that on 28 June, Attari shared a voice message informing the group members that he had killed Lal. He also shared a video related to the murder, sources said.

“Many people who were questioned in this regard have corroborated the same,” one of the sources claimed.

(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)

Also read: 4,000 gather for silent protest, even as Udaipur remains on edge over Hindu tailor’s murder


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