Ghouse, prime accused in beheading, linked to Pak-based outfit

Rushing to Rajasthan, NIA takes over the investigation, to look into the terror angle.

As National Investigating Agency (NIA) took over investigations into Kanhaiya Lal’s cold-blooded murder on Tuesday, Rajasthan Home Minister Rajendra Yadav on Wednesday told The Daily Guardian Review that one of the accused Mohammad Ghouse had been to Pakistan around 2014. Ghouse stayed there for 45 days and received training. He has been in regular contact with his handlers across the border for the past two–three years. A terror outfit working from across the borders is alleged to be behind it.

According to the state police, Ghouse is linked to Pakistan-based Dawat-e-Islami. Providing details of the investigation

so far, Director General of Police (DGP) ML Lather on Tuesday told the media persons that the police have arrested three more people in connection with the murder. DGP ML Lather said, “One of the accused, Ghouse Mohammad, has links with the Karachi-based Ismalist organisation Dawat-e-Islami. He had visited Karachi in 2014. So far, we have detained five people, including the two prime accused.”

Ghouse Mohammad and his accomplice Riaz Akhtari allegedly hacked Kanhaiya Lal to death on Tuesday to avenge insult to Islam. Lal had supported Nupur Sharma in a social media post on her controversial remark on Prophet Muhammad and was arrested by police on June 10. He had been released on bail five days later.

An FIR was registered against the prime accused on Tuesday under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the IPC, even as NIA took over the investigation and would look into the terror angle.

The premeditated murder of Lal, a tailor by profession, sparked outrage across the country. The primed accused had uploaded a video on social media taking responsibility for the murder and also threatening to kill Prime Minister Narendra Modi, leading to tensions in the lake city as people began to stage protests. State authorities on Tuesday imposed curfew in Udaipur and suspended Internet services in the entire state. They also issued prohibitive orders under Section 144 of CrPC in all the districts for the next one month.

A day later on Wednesday, a policeman was seriously injured in Rajsamand after a protest organised by a pro-Hindutva outfit got violent. When police tried to persuade the protestors to disperse, they attacked Sandeep Kumar with sharp-edged weapon, seriously injuring the policeman. Kumar was taken to Jawahar Lal Hospital in Ajmer after receiving preliminary treatment. District Collector Ansh Deep and SP Vikas Sharma directed the doctors and paramedic staff of the hospital to be on their toes.

In the meanwhile, The state government has constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the murder. Additional Director General of Police (ADG), Special Operation Group Ashok Kumar Rathore, Inspector General of Police (IG), Anti Terror Squad (ATS), Prafulla Kumar and a Superintendant of Police (SP) rank officer and an Additional SP rank officer are part of the SIT.

Earlier in the day, Hindu organizations have given a call for a Jaipur Bandh on Thursday. All business establishments, except essential services, will remain shut. The call was given after a meeting of representatives of RSS, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal and sister organizations was held in Seva Sadan, Jaipur. A rally will also be organized in Jaipur on Sunday July 3 to protest the ghastly murder, in which one lakh people are expected to participate. BJP state chief and MLA Satish Poonia also participated in the meeting.