Protests rage over India sectarian murder linked to Nupur Sharma

Thursday's demonstration organized by Hindu groups saw several people throw stones, chant slogans and call for the two accused to be executed


Thousands of people protested in the Indian cities of Udaipur and Indore on Thursday following the murder of a Hindu tailor, with many calling for the two Muslim men accused of killing him to get executed.

The two men said they on Tuesday attacked Kanhaiya Lal over his support for recent comments about Islam by Nupur Sharma, a suspended member of India's ruling Hindu nationalist party, on May 26.

Before the killing on Tuesday, they had surfed Islamic State videos, NDTV reported later in the day.

However, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday said that some media reports about the links of the two accused with some terrorist outfits are based on speculation. 

The agency added that the accused -- Riyaz Akhtari and Ghouse Mohammad -- wanted to be a hero in the eyes of their community.

They were arrested shortly afterwards and are being investigated under anti-terrorism legislation, with media reports claiming one of them was in contact with extremist groups in Pakistan.

Fearing sectarian violence, authorities have imposed a curfew in Udaipur and cut mobile internet access across the western city and elsewhere in Rajasthan state.

Hundreds of extra police were deployed.

Yesterday's demonstration organised by Hindu groups saw several people throw stones, chant slogans and call for the two accused to be executed.

A viral video that appears to depict Tuesday's murder, the veracity of which has not been confirmed, shows the two men attacking Lal in his shop with large knives. 

"It was only because of the case of Nupur Sharma… my father was killed. It wasn't such a big deal," Lal's son Yash Telli said on Wednesday, calling for the two accused to be hanged or killed by police. 

Meanwhile, Hindu outfits carried out a protest in Madhya Pradesh's Indore against the murder.

In the Uttar Pradesh state, Noida Police arrested a young man for making a post on social media allegedly in support of the murder.

Police in Rajasthan's Ajmer have arrested three people, including a cleric, for delivering a hate speech in which they allegedly called for beheading to avenge the insult to the Prophet.

Police are suspecting that the hate speech delivered from the main entry gate of the Ajmer dargah on June 17 could have played a role in provoking the two people who murdered the tailor.