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Killing of chemist in Amravati snowballs into a political storm

Police said the case was related to Kolhe posting in support of Nupur Sharma

blood-murder-crime-rep Representative image | Shutterstock

The killing of a chemist Umesh Prahladrao Kolhe (54) in eastern Maharashtra's Amravati city is snowballing into a political storm. After Amravati DCP Vikram Sali told news agency ANI that Kolhe had posted on social media in support of Nupur Sharma and this incident took place because of that post, independent MP Navneet Rana—who rose to fame in the Hanuman Chalisa protests—called for an enquiry against the police commissioner. Rana alleged that the city's police commissioner Aarti Singh tried to pass the murder off as a robbery, NDTV reported.

The police said the case was related to social media posts supporting suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma, even as the case was handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA). The alleged master-mind of the killing was also arrested during the day. This was the seventh arrest in the case. The crime branch of Amravati city police arrested Irfan Khan (32), a local resident, from Nagpur in the evening. He had allegedly hatched the conspiracy to murder Kolhe, who ran a medical shop in Amravati, and roped in others. 

Kolhe was stabbed to death around 10.30pm on June 21 near Ghantaghar in Shyam chowk area of Amravati. Deputy Commissioner of Police Vikram Sali told reporters that on the face of it, the killing was linked to certain posts that Kolhe had shared in WhatsApp groups, supporting Sharma who has been suspended by the BJP for making controversial comments about Prophet Mohammad. Earlier, police had arrested Mudassar Ahmed alias Sonu Raza Sheikh Ibrahim (22), Shahrukh Pathan alias Badshasha Hidayat Khan (25), Abdul Taufik alias Nanu Sheikh Taslim (24), Shoeb Khan alias Bhurya Sabir Khan (22), Atib Rashid Aadil Rashid (22) and Yusuf Khan Bahadur Khan (44) in connection with Kolhe's killing. 

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