The BJP Minority Morcha in Rajasthan on Saturday refuted the allegation levelled by the Congress that the main accused in the Kanhaiya Lal murder case in Udaipur was a BJP member.
After a photo showing Riaz Akhtari with some local BJP leaders of Udaipur emerged, Mohammad Sadiq Khan, state president of the BJP Minority Morcha, said the photo cannot be a held as a proof to show he is a party member.
“Anyone can have a photo with any leader. It does not mean that he is a member of the BJP,” Sadiq told reporters.
“He might have gone to some programme of the party to carry out a recce and got photos clicked with local leaders. Since it is a normal trend to upload photos with leaders or celebrities on Facebook and other social media platforms, he might have also uploaded the photo but it does not mean that he is a BJP member,” Sadiq said.
He said the murder highlights the state government’s failure as it did not provide security to Kanhaiya Lal despite a clear threat.
The BJP leader said the Congress wanted to shift the blame on the saffron party in order to divert public attention from the “failure of the Ashok Gehlot government”, which he alleged did nothing for minorities in three-and-a-half years.
Sadiq said Akhtari’s vehicle number was “2611”, which he obtained by choice in 2013, and this indicated his radical ideology.
Kanhaiya Lal, a tailor, was killed on Tuesday afternoon by two cleaver-wielding men, who posted a grisly video of the crime online claiming responsibility for the murder.
The two accused, Riaz Akhtari and Ghouse Mohammad, were arrested hours after the incident while fleeing on a motorcycle. Two more people — Asif and Mohseen — who were allegedly involved in a recce of Kanhaiya’s shop and in the alleged conspiracy to kill him, have also been arrested.
Meanwhile, a special court in Jaipur on Saturday sent the four accused in the brutal killing to the National Investigation Agency’s custody till July 12. The four men were allegedly attacked by a group of lawyers in the court during the hearing. A team of the NIA and the Anti-Terrorism Squad presented the four accused before a special NIA court.
Prior to this, a police team from Jaipur took the accused to the office of the ATS’ Special Operations Group. Akhtari and Mohammad allegedly hacked Lal to death with a cleaver at his shop for extending supporting to now suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma, and posted videos online saying they were avenging an insult to Islam.
Additional police force was deployed at the court as well as in city areas for security reasons. (PTI)