The Indian authorities fear a second Hindu man may have been murdered in a retributory attack for supporting derogatory comments made about the Prophet Mohammed by a spokesperson from India’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party.
Last week, a 54-year-old veterinary pharmacist, Umesh Kolhe, was killed in Amravati, in India’s western state of Maharashtra, by a group of five Muslim men as he walked home from work on June 21.
Mr Kolhe’s family were shocked by the killing and said he had no previous disagreements with anyone, while the police also could not initially find a motive.
“Umesh had two bags with him, which the assailants did not touch, so robbery as motive is questionable. He had no personal enmity or dispute to invite such an assault,” the victim’s brother, Mahesh, told the Times of India.
Photograph from twitter
Now, Mr Kolhe’s family believe that he may have been a victim of a retribution killing after he had shared social media posts in support of Nupur Sharma, a BJP spokesperson who had made offensive comments about the Prophet Mohammed during a televised debate. Who says they were offensive? While the paragraph in the Telegraph soon disappeared from what I heard the comments were a fair and factual repetition of an accepted hadith about the life of Mohammed; the recitation by his youngest wife Aisha as to how he had sex with her when she was 9 years old.
The police in Amravati have said they will continue to probe the second potential murder: “Motive is still not clear. Our investigation is on,” said Aarti Singh, Amravati’s chief of police.
CCTV footage appeared to show the five men conducting a recce of Mr Kolhe’s shop and the surrounding area in the lead up to the murder and their mobile phones have been sent for forensic examination.
International terror organisations Isis and al-Qaeda both also vowed to carry out violent attacks in India.