A day after the gruesome killing of Kahaiya Lal, a tailor in Udaipur, new details about the accused have been released by the police. The accused slit Lal's neck and killed him while recording the incident on video. They also made videos brandishing knives in which they said the killing was a response to Prophet comments made by former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma.
According to reports, Kanhaiya Lal had been targeted by extremists after he shared social media posts in support of Nupur Sharma. Several activists and Muslim protesters have been demanding her arrest following her derogatory comments on Prophet Mohammad on a national television news debate sparked worldwide outrage and protests in several states.
But who were the accused and how did they go about the murder?
The two accused have been identified as Mohammad Riyaz Ansari and Gulam Ghaus Mohammed. The duo have been found to have had links with Pakistan-based terror groups. In a press conference on Wednesday, Rajasthan DGP informed that one of the accused had links with Dawat-e-Islami.
According to reports, one of the accused, Mohammad Riyas Ansari, was in contact with Pakistan-based terror groups. Gulam Gaus had visited Karachi in 2014. Gaus Mohammad reportedly visited Karachi in 2014. NDTV reported that the duo had been watching ISIS videos and had made several phone calls to Pakistani numbers ahead of Kanhaiya Lal's killing.
The Home Ministry on Wednesday directed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to take over the investigation of the brutal murder and probe the involvement of any organisation and international links.
The spokesperson of the MHA said on their Twitter handle that "MHA has directed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to take over the investigation of the brutal murder of Shri Kanhaiya Lal Teli committed at Udaipur, Rajasthan yesterday. "The involvement of any organization and international links will be thoroughly investigated."
Riyaz's father Abdul Jabbar was worked as a welder and belonged originally to Jaisalmer. According to Aaj Tak, Riyaz, who was one of nine brothers and one sister, came to Udaipur in 2001 after his father's death.
According to reports, the accused had been tracking Lal for some time and had been waiting for the latter to open his shop for a week. According to Kanhaiya Lal's family, he had been targeted for sharing a social media post that supported Nupur Sharma. Riyaz had made a video on June 17 in which he had warned of an "act" that will make his video viral.
On June 28, the accused entered Kanhaiya Lal's shop, posing as customers. In the videos of the killing that went viral, Lal can be seen taking measurements of one of the accused when he is attacked and killed. The police nabbed the two accused within hours after a second video of the duo gloating over the killing and threatening to attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi surfaced.
Following the incident, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot tweeted saying a preliminary investigation has revealed that the murder was done to spread terror and. A case has been registered against the accused under stringent provisions of UAPA. On Tuesday, five others were detained by Rajasthan Police in connection to the crime.
The incident has been dubbed a hate crime and an act of terror by "jihadists" and extremists with international links. Several sections of the media including Islamic bodies have issued strongly worded condemnations of the killing.
(With inputs from PTI)