Amid heightened tensions over the horrific Udaipur killing, it is now being reported that a Maharashtra-based chemist was also murdered over his post on Nupur Sharma. Further, Indian Home Minister Amit Shah has ordered a probe in the matter.
According to reports, the victim was a 54-year-old Amravati resident named Umesh Kolhe. Kolhe was allegedly killed over his support of Nupur Sharma. According to a BJP unit of Amravati, the killing occurred earlier on June 21, less than a week before Udaipur’s Kanhaiya Lal was beheaded.
On Saturday, Ministry of Home Affairs took to Twitter and announced that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has been directed to investigate the killing of Umesh Kolhe. “MHA has handed over the investigation of the case relating to the barbaric killing of Umesh Kolhe in Amravati Maharashtra on 21st June to NIA,” the tweet read.
According to reports, the victim was brutally killed earlier on June 21 after he extended his support to Nupur Sharma on Facebook. Nupur Sharma was a BJP spokesperson and had had been in the news earlier last month for allegedly making remarks on Prophet Mohammad. She was later suspended by the party.
The Amravati-based victim was allegedly hacked to death by two motorcycle-born assailants when he was on his way to home on his vehicle.
The Facts of the Matter
As communal-tension continues to be felt across the nation, and majorly in Rajasthan, where a tailor was beheaded earlier last week, a new development has emerged. According to reports, less than a week from the horrific Udaipur beheading, a man in Maharashtra was killed for similar reasons. Both the victims were killed for extending their support for Nupur Sharma, the now exiled BJP spokesperson.
BJP Unit Alleges Amravati Chemist Killed as “Revenge”
54-year-old Umesh Kolhe, a chemist based in Amravati, Maharashtra, was killed by two assailants on June 21. The incident occurred a week before two accused Udaipur-based tailor Kanhaiya Lal.
The incident was brought to the fore after a local unit of BJP sent a letter to the police about the deceased’s killing. The BJP leaders in their letter alleged that the victim was killed as a “revenge” to “set an example”.
According to an India Today report, an FIR has already been lodged and six people have been arrested for their involvement in the case.
A Press Trust of India report quoted City Kotwali police station official saying, “Kolhe ran a medical store in Amravati city. He had allegedly shared a post on some WhatsApp groups in support of Nupur Sharma for her comments. He even mistakenly shared the post in a WhatsApp group in which some Muslims were also members, including his customers.”
Following the incident, the Ministry of Home Affairs reported that the case has been assigned to the National Investigative Agency who will now continue the probe.
MHA has handed over the investigation of the case relating to the barbaric killing of Shri Umesh Kolhe in Amravati Maharashtra on 21st June to NIA.
The conspiracy behind the killing, involvement of organisations and international linkages would be thoroughly investigated.
— गृहमंत्री कार्यालय, HMO India (@HMOIndia) July 2, 2022
The Crime As it Happened
According to reports, the killing occurred on June 12 at around 10 – 10.30pm when Kolhe was back to his home on his two-wheeler vehicle. The victim was accompanied by his son Sanket and wife Vaishnavi, who were on a different vehicle.
This was when two motorcycle-born assailants showed up and obstructed his path. One of the assailants left his vehicle and stabbed the victim on neck and fled from the spot. While the victim was rushed to the hospital, he succumbed to his injuries.
“No such post”: Victim’s Son on Father’s Alleged Facebook Post
While reports continue to claim that Kolhe was killed over his post on Nupur Sharma, his son refuted to seeing any such post. In an Indian Express report, the victim’s son Sanket claimed that he checked his father’s Facebook profile and did not find anything objectionable.