A Hindu man named Kanhaiya Lal was beheaded by two radical Muslim men in the Indian state of Rajasthan’s Udaipur city on Tuesday afternoon.
The incident took place in Udaipur’s Maldas area.
Soon after committing the crime, the two accused posted a video on social media boasting about the beheading and threatened Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s life as well
The victim Kanhaiya Lal, a tailor, reportedly had recently shared a social media post in support of Nupur Sharma– former BJP spokesperson who had made remarks on a TV debate that many in the Muslim community found controversial.
Since then Mr Lal was receiving death threats from local radical Islamist groups. The victims’ family has accused local police of not responding to their complaints.
Following the gruesome murder, local markets in the area were shut as the traders demanded justice for the victim.
One of the assailants, who was identified as Riyaz Akhtar, attacked Kanhaiya Lal with a sharp-edged weapon while the other, Ghos Mohammad, recorded the crime on his mobile phone, Udaipur Police told media.
“Both the accused have been detained and the law and order situation is under control. Some people were attempting to come out of the bylanes but were controlled. Curfew imposed in the nearby areas,”Manoj Kumar, SP, Udaipur said.
The accused are from the Surajpole area of Udaipur.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot told the media “Both the accused who brutally murdered a man in Udaipur were arrested from Rajsamand.”
“The investigation, in this case, will be done under the Case Officer Scheme and by ensuring speedy investigation; the criminals will be punished severely in the court,”Mr Gehlot added.
State Chief Secretary has ordered a temporary suspension of internet services for the next 24 hours in all districts of the Rajasthan and a Curfew was imposed in the nearby areas.
Hours after a video went viral on social media wherein a shopkeeper is seen being attacked by two men in Udaipur, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot “It is a sad and shameful incident. There is a tense atmosphere in the nation today.”
“It is a very sad incident. It is not a small incident, what has happened is beyond one’s imagination. The culprits will not be spared,”Mr Gehlot said.
Udaipur Divisional Commissioner Rajendra Bhatt appealed to the people to maintain peace.
“The (victim Kanhaiya Lal’s) dependents have been assured of recruitment through placement service in UIT, and the family will be given compensation of Rs 5 lakhs,”said Bhatt.
Meanwhile, a team of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) rushed to Udaipur following the incident, said local media.
The NIA team includes a Deputy Inspector General (DIG)-rank officer, the move comes following an order issued by the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
As per government sources, the NIA team is likely to file a case under provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act after visiting the crime spot.
Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind on Tuesday condemned the Udaipur killing incident and called it against Islam and the law of the land.
“Maulana Halceemuddin Qasmi, General Secretary of the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, has condemned the incident of brutal killing in Udaipur apparently on the pretext of the insult to the Prophet (PBUH) and called it against the law of land and against the religion of Islam,”reads the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind statement.
“He has said whoever has perpetrated this incident cannot be justified in any way, it is against the law of the land and our religion. In our country, there is a system of law, no one has the right to take the law into his own hands. Maulana Hakeemuddin Qasmi appealed to all the citizens of the country to restrain their emotions and maintain peace in the country,” it added.
Earlier, the Indian ruling party BJP had suspended party spokesperson Nupur Sharma this month for her remarks during a TV debate that was considered objectionable by a large section of the Muslim community.
The video of her remarks was made viral and religious sentiments were provoked by many social media influencers including journalists and civil society activists. After this, a lot of radical Islamists made calls for Nupur Sharma’s murder and rape.
She along with her family has been living in hiding since then, Indian police are providing her security as it has been classified by security agencies that there is an imminent threat to her life from radical Islamists.
A lot of people globally who oppose Islamic blasphemy laws have come out in support of Nupur Sharma and free speech.
Victim Kanhaiya Lal was one of them, however, he had to pay the price with his own life.
There have been other religiously motivated gruesome murders in the recent past in different countries by radical Islamists.
In April 2017 Mashal Khan, a Muslim student, was lynched to death in Mardan, Pakistan, on a university campus after allegations of ‘blasphemy’
In October 2019 Indian politician Kamlesh Tiwari was murdered in Lucknow in India. His throat was slit and he was shot.
In October 2020 French teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded on the streets of Paris in France.
In October 2021 British MP David Amess was stabbed to death in his constituency of Essex in England.
In May 2022 Deborah Samuel Yakubu, a Christian student who was accused of ‘blasphemy’, was lynched and burned alive by a mob in Sokoto in Nigeria on a university campus.