Mumbai

Seven men sent to judicial custody in murder of pharmacist in Amravati over Prophet remark

Two more persons were arrested in connection to the killing of Umesh Kolhe in Amravati.

Two more persons were arrested in connection to the killing of Umesh Kolhe in Amravati. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Mumbai on Friday sent seven men to judicial custody in connection with the murder of a pharmacist for allegedly sharing objectionable WhatsApp posts in support of suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma’s statement on Prophet Muhammad.

The NIA counsel argued that electronic evidence in the case has been tampered with and that one accused is still absconding.

Lawyers of accused, Advocate Sharif Shaikh and Ali Kaashif Khan Deshmukh, said that no terrorist organisation is involved in the killing and the prosecution has failed to link this incident with any other incident across the country.

On July 2, the Maharashtra Police had 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 54-year-old Umesh 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 – Muddasir Ahmed alias Sonu Raza Shaikh, 22, Shahrukh Pathan alias Badshah Hidayat Khan, 25, Nanu alias Abdul Taufiq, 24, Atib Rashid Adil 22, Shoaib alias Bhurya Khan, Yusuf Khan Bahadur Khan, 44 and Shaikh Irfan Shaikh Rahim, 32.

They are accused of planning and plotting Kolhe’s murder after he allegedly posted a message on a WhatsApp group Black Freedom supporting Ms. Sharma’s remarks.

The First Information Report (FIR) is registered under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and aections 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 28, 2022 1:50:47 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/seven-men-sent-to-judicial-custody-in-murder-of-pharmacist-in-amravati-over-prophet-remark/article65670832.ece