As outrage spirals over tailor Kanhaiya Lal’s murder on camera by two men with terror links, stone-throwing erupted briefly today during a protest march by hundreds in Udaipur. The riot police moved in to control the crowds.
About 1,000 protesters from various Hindu organisations held up saffron flags and chanted slogans demanding justice as the procession marched under heavy security. Tensions peaked as the protesters walked near the area where the horrific murder took place on Tuesday. The police dispersed the agitated crowd.
“It is under control now,” a senior police officer told NDTV as the crowds thinned.
“It shouldn’t be blown out of proportion. The procession was peaceful, by and large, and the district administration had given permission to hold a peaceful march,” senior police officials told NDTV.
Questions were raised about the procession being allowed when the city is under curfew and large gatherings have been banned. All shops are shut in the city and internet has been shut since violent protests erupted on Tuesday over the killing.
Security has been increased for the visit of Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who will meet with the family of Kanhaiya Lal.
Kanhaiya Lal, 48, was murdered on Tuesday by two men who filmed the killing and boasted about it, also threatening Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Riaz Akhtari and Ghouse Mohammad, who are seen on camera attacking Kanhaiya Lal with a cleaver, were arrested and five more have been detained.
The Union Home Ministry has handed over the investigation to the country’s top anti-terror body, the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
The killers had links with Pakistan-based group Dawat-e-Islami and one of them also went to Karachi in 2014, say investigators.
The tailor’s murder was a planned act of terror and more people were involved, Rajasthan police chief ML Lather said.
“The main accused were in touch with organisation Dawat-e-Islami. One of them also went to Karachi in Pakistan in 2014 to meet the organisation. We are considering it an act of terror,” he said.
Mr Lather said an Assistant Sub-Inspector has been suspended for not taking proper action to prevent the incident.
Kanhaiya Lal had complained to the police on June 15 about death threats and harassment by his neighbours over his post on social media supporting BJP leader Nupur Sharma, whose provocative comments on Prophet Muhammad had triggered anger in Gulf nations and massive protests in India.
After his complaint, the police mediated talks between Kanhaiya Lal and the neighbours he had named in his complaint, along with leaders from both communities. The “matter was resolved”, the police said, and Kanhaiya Lal had given a written statement that he needed no more police assistance.
But Kanhaiya Lal’s wife Jashoda told NDTV he had avoided going to his shop for a week. On Tuesday, he had gone for the first time in days.
A large crowd also turned up for Kanhaiya Lal’s cremation on Wednesday, with many raising slogans.