“The barbarity of killing a father in front of his son, in the open air in a public space, with proper planning and celebration is an act of terrorism at the very least,” the NIA said in its charge sheet against Umesh. Kolhe murder case. The June 21 killing of Kolhe in Maharashtra’s Amravati district was a well-conceived terror plot to strike terror in the hearts and minds of people across the country, the NIA told a Mumbai court while filing chargesheets against eleven accused in the 137-page case. charge sheet
According to the NIA, Mohammed Shoeb, a 22-year-old working as a support worker, stabbed Kolhe in the neck with a sharp weapon after the “terrorist gang” agreed that the only punishment he should be given for dishonoring the prophet was beheading. .
There were failed attempts, repeated attempts and a backup plan to carry out Kolhe’s execution. Accused Mudassir Ahmed, Abdul Arbaz and Shaikh Shakil were part of the radicalized religious support group of Mushifique Ahmad, the NIA said.
The killing sent shockwaves across the country as riots broke out in several places and a week later a tailor, Kanhaiya Lal, was beheaded in a public area in Rajasthan’s Udaipur on June 28 over the same issue. The two deaths were allegedly for supporting suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma over her remarks about the prophet.
The twin cases are being investigated by the NIA, but no direct links have been found yet. What was found instead was that the people accused of the Amravati murder were followers of Tablighi Jamaat, the largest proselytizing movement with over 80 million followers in 190 countries. Notably, its international headquarters was in New Delhi until the organization faced a crackdown for not complying with the Covid lockdown rules. Its largest chapter is in Bangladesh, where the largest meeting is usually held in January and the second largest in Pakistan in December.
What is expected to ring alarm bells for security agencies is the ongoing radicalization of extremist elements and the threat posed by their presence in states as diverse as Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Hyderabad and Karnataka.
The NIA said in its charge sheet that Kohle was killed by “radicalized Islamists of the Tablighi Jamaat” for allegedly hurting religious sentiments, promoting enmity, ill will and hatred between different castes and religions.
“This act of terror disturbed the public tranquility and national integrity, safety and security of the common public not only in Amravati but also across the nation,” the NIA said. NIA investigators have not found any criminal record of Kolhe, a chemist and law-abiding person, but they stated that he was motivated by the brutal ideology of the “terrorist gang” that killed him.
The mastermind of the assassination was Irfan Khan, said to be a follower of the Tablighi Jamaat, who was the “dark horse” in the conspiracy. “He deliberately roped in the accused, who has never come into limelight, so that the conspiracy to kill Umesh Kolhe could be carried out in silence,” the charge sheet said.
The NIA has collected enough technical evidence like call data records which show that the accused were known to each other, reviewed Kolhe’s medical shop, were in constant contact during the crime and were planning their next step to evade the law.
Senior NIA officials, however, have said that the accused’s links with the Tablighi Jamaat, however, do not constitute condemnation against the organization. “The accused were followers of Tablighi Jamaat and this does not mean that the organization was involved in the act of terror,” the official said.
However, the mention of Tablighi Jamaat has again put the spotlight on the organization which faced the wrath of the Delhi Police after it ran into trouble during the Covid lockdown due to its large gathering in Delhi. The organization denies affiliation with a particular school of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence (FIQH), focusing on the Quran and Hadith.
However, this is not the first time that some Tablighi followers have come under the scanner. Tablighi Jamaat is banned in countries like Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, while some of its followers are under investigation in countries like Morocco. Russia considered it an extremist outfit and US and UK intelligence have been monitoring the activities of its followers.
This is the first chargesheet filed by the NIA in the Amravati terror case. There is more ground on which the central agency has so far not cleared the alleged international links of the accused.
While the Udaipur beheading case pointed to the accused’s links with radical groups across the border, the Amravati cases have so far been silent on cross-border support. Investigators will investigate whether AQIS ideology or radicalization from the Islamic State network influenced or at least motivated the defendants to carry out the violent stabbing. For now, the domestic line of inquiry appears to be complete to conclude that Kohle’s killing was an act of terror by radicalized youth, a potent threat that security agencies will see in the coming days and months.
The accused named in the chargesheet are Mudassir Ahmed, Shahrukh Khan, Abdul Taufeeque Shaikh, Mohammad Shoeb, Atib Rashid, Yusuf Khan, Irfan Khan, Abdul Arbaz, Mushifique Ahmad, Shaikh Shakil and Shahim Ahemad.