New Delhi, Jun 29 (EFE).- India reported on Wednesday an investigation to determine the existence of international links in the brutal beheading of a tailor in the western city of Udaipur on supposed religious grounds.
The Home Ministry “has directed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to take over the investigation of the brutal murder of Shri Kanhaiya Lal Teli committed at Udaipur, Rajasthan yesterday,” the ministry tweeted.
“The involvement of any organisation and international links will be thoroughly investigated,” it added.
Teli was murdered in his shop by at least two men who, pretending to be customers, entered the premises on a busy street of the city in the western state of Rajasthan.
A video posted by the alleged killers shows the tailor being killed. The perpetrators claimed their actions were a message to Hindu leaders for offenses against Islam.
The footage sparked immediate response from the people who took to the streets demanding punishment for those responsible, once again fueling tensions between the Hindu majority and the Muslim minority in India – relations that have been agitated in recent years.
According to local media reports, the tailor was assassinated days after he posted a message on social media in support of Nupur Sharma, a former spokesperson of the ruling party BJP, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Sharma was suspended from office after a controversy arising from her comments on Prophet Muhammad – the most revered figure in Islam – in a televised debate that was considered insulting.
Leaders of the Muslim community, as well as the Hindu majority, have called on the people and the media to treat the matter as a terrorist act and not an act of community violence to avoid further tensions between the two religious groups.
“The inhumane incident of the murder of a man named Kanhaiya Lal by two persons named Riaz and Ghous, and that too in the name of the Holy Prophet, is not only an act of cowardice but an act against Islam, unlawful and inhuman,” the Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid, Ahmed Bukhari, said in a statement.
“I, myself, and on the behalf of Muslims of India, with all the vehemence at our disposal, condemn this act,” he added.
The two alleged perpetrators were arrested Tuesday from the town of Rajsamand, also in Rajasthan, hours after the killing. The police have indicated the possibility of more people being involved, as it is a pre-planned act.
Hundreds of law enforcement officers have been sent to the city of Udaipur to maintain order. In addition, the authorities on Tuesday imposed an indefinite curfew and suspended Internet services for 24 hours in the city.
India, a country of more than 1.35 billion people, has in the past experienced bloody clashes between Hindus and Muslims that have left thousands dead and injured.
The coming to power of the Hindu nationalist leader Narendra Modi has coincided with radicalization among the Hindu majority and a disproportionate increase in attacks on the Muslim minority, according to human rights organizations. EFE