New Delhi: The tailor, who was hacked to death Tuesday in broad daylight at his shop in Rajasthan’s Udaipur, had been arrested nearly three weeks before the incident for allegedly hurting religious feelings, police said.
Days after tailor Kanhaiya Lal Teli was released on bail, he had sought police protection citing death threats and men doing recee outside his shop. “He was arrested on 11 June and granted bail by the court the next day,” Superintendent of Police, Udaipur, Manoj Kumar told ThePrint.
The complainant in the case was Nazim Ahmed and Teli was booked under Indian Penal Code sections — 295 A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings) and 153 A (promoting enmity between groups and disrupting harmony).
Teli was accused of making an “objectionable remark” about Prophet Muhammad. Police have clarified that the other complainant, Nazim, isn’t involved in his murder.
According to the letter to the Dhandmandi SHO, dated 15 June, a copy of which has been accessed by ThePrint, Teli said, “Two days ago, two men came to my shop and asked for my mobile phone saying they don’t have balance in their number. They told me that a post had been shared from my phone and asked if I had any knowledge of it. I told them that I don’t know how to use the phone and only my kid uses it to play games. They deleted the post using my phone and warned me not to do it again”.
His letter also mentions the complaint lodged against him by Nazim.
In his letter, Teli alleged that the complainant and 4-5 other persons did recee for three days around his shop and didn’t allow him to open his shop.
“From morning till evening, 5-7 people keep roaming around my shop and it has come to my knowledge that they intend to kill me when I open the shop. Nazim and 4-5 people have made my name and photo viral in their community groups and warned that if this person is seen on the streets or comes to his shop, he will be killed because he posted something objectionable. They aren’t letting me open my shop and threatened to kill me if I open the shop,” the letter further said.
On the same day, however, in a handwritten letter to the police station, he said he didn’t want further legal proceedings, and informed about reaching a settlement.
“The SHO called the concerned persons whom Teli had named. Five-six people from both communities then reached an agreement, after which Teli said that he doesn’t want any further legal action.” a senior police officer said.
The Udaipur SP confirmed that a settlement was reached between the parties. When asked if Nazim was involved in Kanhaiya Lal’s murder, he said “there is no relation”.
The police have arrested two people so far in the case — Riyaz Attari and Ghouse Mohammed.
Purported visuals of Teli’s murder have gone viral on social media, where some men can be seen launching an attack on the tailor while he was attending to one of the accused at his shop. Two men were also seen claiming responsibility for the crime and threatening Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while brandishing huge knives.
(Edited by Monami Gogoi)