A special national investigation agency (NIA) court granted a 90-day extension to the NIA to complete its probe and file a chargesheet against 10 arrested accused in the murder case of an Amravati-based chemist for supporting statements made by suspended Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Nupur Sharma on Prophet Muhammad.
On June 21, Umesh Kolhe, 54, was killed by two motorcycle-borne men by slitting his throat, for supporting comments made by Ms. Sharma in May.
She had made objectionable remarks about the Prophet on the national television that had sparked an outrage on the national and international levels. On July 2, the Maharashtra Police arrested seven people before the case was taken over by the NIA.
The Central agency on July 6 conducted raids at 13 locations across Maharashtra in connection with Kolhe's murder. The Central agency is reported to have recovered incriminating materials such as pamphlets spreading hate messages, knives, mobile phones, SIM cards, and memory cards, among others.
The accused are namely Irfan Shaikh, Shoaib Khan, Mudassir Ahmed, Aatif Rashid, Yusuf Khan, Abdul Toufiq and Shahrukh Pathan and one wanted accused namely, Shamim Ahmed Firoj Ahmed, Abdul Arbaz and Maulavi Mushfique Ahmed.
The First Information Report is registered under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and Sections 34 (acts done with common intention), 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), 153 B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration), 120 B (criminal conspiracy) and 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code.