Udaipur: Curfew remained clamped in seven police station areas of the city on Wednesday and mobile Internet services suspended across all 33 districts of Rajasthan after a tailor was brutally murdered here by two men, triggering stray cases of violence.
Heavy deployment of police has been made in the city, a day after the gruesome murder of Kanhaiya Lal, the tailor, by two men who had posted videos online that said they were avenging an insult to Islam
Postmortem of the body is underway at the mortuary of the district government hospital, police said.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who was in Jodhpur, returned to Jaipur and will hold a meeting with officers to review the situation, official sources said.
Leader of Opposition Gulab Chand Kataria demanded action against the Superintendent of Police Udaipur.
“Suspension of one ASI is not enough. Action against the SP should be taken. It was his failure that the local police failed to ensure security of Kanhaiya Lal despite threat to his life,” Kataria told reporters here.
Prohibitory orders banning people from assembling were clamped across the state for a month and mobile internet services suspended after the incident.
At 8 pm on Tuesday, curfew was declared till further orders in seven police station areas of Udaipur city.
The Union Home Ministry dispatched a team from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to Udaipur.
The Rajasthan Police also announced a special investigation team (SIT) soon after the arrest of the two men, identified as Riaz Akhtari and Ghouse Mohammad.
In a video clip, Akhtari declared that they had beheaded the man and went on to threaten Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Indirectly, the assailants also referred to Nupur Sharma, the BJP leader suspended from the party over a remark on Prophet Mohammad.
Lal was recently arrested by the local police over a post on social media. On June 15, while he was on bail, he told police that he was receiving threat calls.
The local SHO summoned both sides to the police station and settled the matter, an official said. After the murder, police suspended an assistant sub inspector for negligence at that time.
The assailants entered Lal’s shop in Dhan Mandi posing as customers. As the tailor took measurements Akhtari attacked him with a cleaver, nearly severing his neck. The other man shot the brutal murder with his mobile phone.
The men fled from the scene and later uploaded this clip on social media. In another video, the alleged assailant said they beheaded the tailor and threatened the prime minister for lighting this fire .
Yet another provocative video was recorded on June 17, in which Akhtari said he will post it the day he carries out the murder. He asked other members of the community to continue with similar attacks.
Police sources said Akhtari works at a local mosque and the other assailant runs a grocery shop.
As the videos circulated on social media, tension escalated. Shopkeepers in local markets downed shutters and a mob pelted stones and set two motorcycles on fire.
For several hours, shopkeepers stopped police from taking away the body, saying they will allow the removal of the corpse only after the murderers are arrested and compensation — Rs 50 lakh and a government job — given to the victim’s family. Later, they agreed to assurances given by the authorities.
On Twitter, Gehlot had appealed for calm and asked people not to share the videos.
“The guilty will not be spared. The entire police team is working on it with full alertness. I can imagine the anger which is there among people due to the murder. We are taking action accordingly,” he had told reporters in Jodhpur.
Gehlot said there is communal tension in the country and the prime minister should address the people. He said both Hindus and Muslims are worried.
“It is more impactful if the prime minister speaks. I believe that the prime minister should address the country on this occasion and should make an appeal that we will not tolerate violence at any cost. What is the problem in saying so?” he said.