Monday, Sep 26, 2022

Udaipur Tailor Killing: Accused Say It's Response For Prophet's Disrespect In Video, Internet Suspended Across Rajasthan

The Union Home Ministry has dispatched a team of National Investigation Agency investigators to Udaipur. The case is likely to be handed over to NIA after its registered under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

Representative image PTI/File Photo

A tailor was on Tuesday murdered at a shop in Rajasthan's Udaipur, said police. Following the murder, the attackers released a video in which they claimed the murder was in response to disrespect shown to Prophet Muhammad. 

The police said the attackers filmed the crime. Officials said the two accused reached the victim's shop on Tuesday afternoon under Dhan Mandi police station area. As the tailor took measurements of one of them, the man, who later identified himself as Riaz, attacked him with a cleaver. The other man shot the brutal murder with his mobile phone.

Two people have been detained in the case in Rajsamand district's Bhim area, said police. Rajsamand is the neighbouring district of Udaipur.

Rajsamand's Superintendent of Police Sudheer Chaudhary said the two were trying to flee on a motorcycle and were wearing helmets to cover their faces.

"We have confirmed the identity of the accused," said Chaudhary, adding that 10 teams were deployed to nab the assailants.

Section 144 has been imposed in Dhanmandi, Ghantaghar, Hathipol, Ambamata, Surajpol, Bhupalpura and Savina police station areas of Udaipur until further orders, according to NDTV.

In the video in which they confess the murder, they say "Gustakh-e-Nabi ki ek hi saza, sar tan se juda". It roughly translates to "there is only one punishment to disrespecting the Prophet, beheading".

The Union Home Ministry on Tuesday night dispatched a team of National Investigation Agency (NIA) investigators to Udaipur. 

The case is likely to be handed over to the NIA for probe after registration of a case under the stringent anti-terror law Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). Prima facie, it looks like a terror attack, an official said on condition of anonymity.

Rajasthan's Chief Secretary Usha Sharma directed officials to suspend mobile internet service across the state for 24 hours and impose section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in all districts of the state for a month. Section 144 prevents the assembly of more than four people.

Leaves of police and administration officials have also been cancelled.

Sharma chaired a high-level meeting with senior officers, including Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Abhay Kumar, Director General of Police M L Lather and others, to review the situation.

"The chief secretary has directed all divisional commissioners, inspector generals of police and district collectors to take special vigil across the state," said an official statement said.

Following the murder, local markets in the area were shut as the traders demanded that the accused be arrested.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has condemned the incident and appealed to people to maintain peace. He said those involved in the murder would get strict punishment.

The murder comes weeks after violence erupted across India over comments on Prophet Muhammad by former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) functionaries Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal.

"A heinous murder has been committed and a thorough investigation will be conducted into the incident. Few accused have been identified. Police teams constituted to locate the accused. We will take action on the video of men claiming to have committed the act," Superintendent of Police of Udaipur told ANI.

ANI reported that internet services have been temporarily suspended for the next 24 hours in Udaipur. 

(With PTI inputs)