Ashok Gehlot Accuses BJP Of Flaring Communal Tension Ahead Of Rajasthan Polls, Says Udaipur Tailor’s Killers Linked To Saffron Party

Kanhaiya Lal, a tailor, was beheaded inside his shop in Udaipur by two assailants in broad daylight on June 28 last year.

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has alleged that the killers of Udaipur tailor Kanhaiya Lal Teli were linked to the BJP.

He added that the BJP was trying to whip up communal tension ahead of the November 25 Assembly elections in the state.

At Jodhpur, the Rajasthan Chief Minister Gehlot said had the Special Operations Group (SOG) of the Rajasthan Police handled the case instead of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the probe would have moved to a logical conclusion, reported ANI.

Kanhaiya Lal, a tailor, was beheaded inside his shop in Udaipur by two assailants in broad daylight on June 28 last year, for allegedly posting content in support of suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma.

The incident came close on the heels of Sharma's suspension from the BJP for an alleged rant against the Prophet.

The beheading of the Udaipur tailor sent shockwaves across the country and sparked a public outcry.

The case was initially registered at Dhanmandi police station in Udaipur but was later re-registered by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on June 29, 2022.

"It was an unfortunate incident and I cancelled my scheduled events and left for Udaipur as soon as I learned of it. However, several top leaders of the BJP chose to attend an event in Hyderabad even after learning of the Udaipur incident," Gehlot told was quoted in the report as having said.

He said the NIA took up the case on the day of the incident and the state government did not raise any objection to it.

"No one knows what action the NIA has taken. If our SOG had pursued the case, the culprits would have been brought to justice by now,” Gehlot said, the report mentioned.

The brutal killing took place in Udaipur's Maldas area on June 28.

Soon after committing the crime, the two accused posted a video on social media boasting about the "beheading" while threatening Prime Minister Narendra Modi with dire consequences as well, according to the police.

The two accused were arrested within hours of the incident. The assailants identified themselves in the video as Riyaz Akhtari and Ghouse Mohammad, police said.

The Rajasthan Chief Minister said days before the incident, the assailants were arrested by police in another case and BJP leaders came to the police station to release them.

"The culprits have links to the BJP. Days before the incident, when the police had arrested these accused in some other case and some BJP leaders visited the police station to get them released," Gehlot said, as per the report.

"The thing is that BJP has sensed defeat in the elections and are, hence, coming up with bizarre claims. They are not speaking a word about the schemes that we launched and the laws we brought. They just want to stir up trouble ahead of the elections," he said, as per the report.
He added that the people will give them a befitting reply.

Addressing an election rally in Chittorgarh last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused the Gehlot-led Congress government of playing a 'vote-bank politics' in the Kanhaiya Lal case.

"What happened in Udaipur is too horrific to even imagine. Some persons visited the tailoring shops on the pretext of getting clothes stitched and slashed the throat of the tailor without any fear of the law. However, the Congress viewed this case through the prism of vote bank politics. I want to ask the Congress: what did you do in the aftermath of the killing of the Udaipur tailor other than playing vote bank politics?" PM Modi said at the rally on October 2.

Rajasthan will go to polls on November 25 and the counting of votes will take place on December 3.

In the 2018 Assembly elections, the Congress won 99 seats while the BJP secured 73 seats in the 200-member House.

Congress formed the government with support from the BSP and Independents.