Court extends NIA custody of 2 accused in pharmacist murder case

A view of National Investigation Agency (NIA), in New Delhi. File

A view of National Investigation Agency (NIA), in New Delhi. File | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Friday extended the custody of two more accused, arrested in connection with the murder of a pharmacist who had allegedly shared WhatsApp posts in support of suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma, till August 17.

Abdul Arbaz and Maulavi Mushfique Ahmed were arrested by the central agency on August 3. NIA argued that they harboured and conspired with the other accused to kill Umesh Kolhe, 54 on June 21 in Amaravati.

The NIA argued that the two need be investigated on information given by other accused in the case and that a few more people are expected to be arrested soon.

Shaikh Shakeel, 28, who was arrested by NIA on Thursday, was also sent to NIA custody till August 17.

Previously, seven people were arrested in the case - Irfan Shaikh, Shoaib Khan, Mudassir Ahmed, Aatif Rashid, Yusuf Khan, Abdul Toufiq and Shahrukh Pathan. Another accused, Shamim Ahmed Firoj Ahmed, is still on the run. On July 2, the Maharashtra Police had arrested the seven 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. It said it recovered incriminating materials such as pamphlets spreading hate messages, knives, mobile phones, SIM cards, and memory cards among others.

The first information report was 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.

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Printable version | Aug 13, 2022 7:15:58 am |