Udaipur Tailor Kanahiya Lal's Wife Demands Death Penalty For His Murderers

Speaking to Outlook, Jasoda Bai, the wife of the murdered tailor said that her husband had returned to his shop after days of absence, only to be attacked and killed for sharing a social media post.

Kanhaiya Lal's wife Jashoda Bai at his funeral on Wednesday in Udaipur

One of the two prime accused involved in the gruesome killing of 48-year-old Kanhaiya Lal, a tailor, in Udaipur by two men had links with the Pakistan-based Dawat-e-Islami organization, said Rajasthan Police.

While addressing a press conference on Wednesday, Director General of Police (DGP) M L Lather said, “As per the investigations so far, we came to know that one of the two accused who were arrested on Tuesday has a link with a Pakistan-based outfit Dawat-e-Islami organization and he had visited Karachi in 2014”. On Wednesday police detained three more people in connection with the killing and two were earlier arrested on Tuesday.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said in a tweet that preliminary investigation has revealed that the murder was done to spread terror and the killers had links to other nations. Following this, a case has been registered under stringent provisions of UAPA.

On Wednesday,  CM Gehlot said that the case will be investigated by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and assured that the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) of Rajasthan Police shall cooperate with the probe agency. Earlier in the day, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs had directed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to take over the probe.

My husband was scared to go out after receiving threats: Kanahiya Lal's wife

Following a post-mortem, Lal’s body was brought back to his house and handed over to his family members on Wednesday morning. His mortal remains were cremated amidst heavy security deployed outside his residence and the funeral ground.

The last rites took place at the Ashok Nagar funeral ground where a large number of people participated in the procession. People were seen reaching the ground on motorcycles and cars. Several present at the funeral raised slogans demanding the death penalty for the accused, ‘jai shree ram’ and praising PM Modi. Some were also seen shouting ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, with saffron slogans in their hands.

Speaking to Outlook, Jasoda Bai, the wife of the murdered tailor said that her husband had returned to his shop after days of absence, "My husband was not going to work for last one week after he received threats over his social media post. Yesterday he finally went to work and was attacked inside the shop".

"Earlier he used to return at 10 PM in the night, but later he started coming early and then stopped going to the shop. He was the only breadwinner of our family and we have two children to look after. We demand the death penalty for the culprits and we want justice," she added.

The incident triggered stray cases of violence in Udaipur and a curfew was imposed in seven police station areas. Moreover, mobile Internet services have been suspended and section 144 of IPC has been put in place across all 33 districts of Rajasthan.

About three weeks ago,  Kanhaiya Lal, had posted remarks in support of Nupur Sharma, a BJP spokesperson when she made offensive remarks about Prophet Mohammad in a televised debate. He was arrested on June 10 over a post. On June 15, while on bail, he told the police that he was being threatened by people living in his vicinity. 

On Tuesday the tailor was killed inside his shop in Udaipur. The duo Ghaus Mohammad and Riyas were arrested hours after the murder in the Rajsamand district while they were trying to escape on the bike. As per the police the duo posing as customers had entered the tailor’s shop in Udaipur on Tuesday afternoon, attacked him and filmed the brutal attack on their cellphone.

The accused had released two videos on social media - the first was of Kanhaiya Lal's killing; the second, was a confession about the murder, describing it as a beheading. The men in the video said that they were avenging "an insult to Islam" and also referred to Nupur Sharma.