The beheading of a Hindu tailor in Rajasthan’s Udaipur had been hitting headlines recently throughout the nation. The deceased tailor Kanhaiyalal was killed over a post on social media supporting (now-suspended BJP spokesperson) Nupur Sharma over her “blasphemous” remarks against Prophet Muhammad. The issue has been treated by the central government as an act of terror.
The brutal killing and its filming by the two cleaver-wielding Muslim men, who were arrested quickly, have triggered massive outrage, also escalating the debate in India.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot called an all-party meeting in Jaipur to discuss the law and order situation in the state. Mobile internet services remained suspended on Wednesday and Section 144 was imposed in the state. The suspension of the internet has been extended for a day in seven districts of the Jaipur division.
The killing has evoked widespread condemnation. Terming it an “act of terror,” AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi has demanded the Congress government initiate the strictest action against the accused. “Violence cannot be justified as means of dissent and protest, we condemn violence,” Owaisi said in Bhopal on Wednesday, while demanding Nupur Sharma’s arrest.
Meanwhile, in Bheem town of Rajasmand where both culprits were caught, Hindutva bodies held a protest that turned violent. A constable was injured when an agitator attacked him with a sword. Fears of social tension have gripped other parts of the country too. Uttar Pradesh was put on high alert, with the DGP directing the district police chiefs to increase foot patrolling. The All India Muslim Personal Law Board and clerics, including Maulana Khalid Rasheed Farangi Mahali of India Islamic Centre, and Maulana Tauquir Raza of Ittehad-e- Millat Council, have condemned the killing.
The incident has sparked the hurling of accusations between political parties. BJP spokesperson Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore slammed CM Ashok Gehlot, saying the recent killing was not an isolated incident but a marked continuation of a series of crimes linked to religious bigotry. Congress’ Pawan Khera hit back, saying, the Gehlot government is aware of its ‘raj dharma’.