Veterinarian arrested for ‘provoking’ murder of chemist in Amravati who ‘supported’ Nupur Sharma

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The Kotwali city police in Amravati arrested a 44-year-old veterinarian in connection with the June 21 murder of Umesh Kolhe (54) who was allegedly killed for circulating a WhatsApp post supporting the controversial comments made by BJP’s Nupur Sharma against Prophet Mohammed.

The sixth accused in the case, Yusuf Khan Bahadur Khan (44), a doctor who runs a clinic in the city, was arrested on Friday night. Confirming the link between Sharma’s comments and Kolhe’s murder, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Amravati city) Vikram Sali on Saturday said, “The motive behind the murder is for seeking revenge for the post made by him (Kolhe) in support of Nupur Sharma.”

Explaining Khan’s role in the murder, a police officer said, “Khan had made a post on a WhatsApp group against Kolhe saying he was circulating posts supporting Nupur Sharma. This provoked the accused against Kolhe and they decided to murder him. So, Khan instigated the other accused.”

On Saturday, Khan was produced before a magistrate court which sent him into police custody till July 4. While one accused in the case is still at large, six have been arrested, including two of the three men who arrived on a bike to murder Kolhe .

The murder took place between 10 pm and 10.30 pm on June 21 when Umesh Kolhe was returning home on his scooter after shutting his medical shop. Kolhe’s son Sanket (27) and Sanket’s wife Vaishnavi were traveling on another scooter.

Sanket, who is the complainant in the case, told the police, “We were moving from Prabhat Chowk and our scooters had reached New High School’s gate. Two men on a bike suddenly came in front of my father’s scooter. One of them had a knife in his hand. They stopped my father’s bike and one of them stabbed my father on his neck with the knife. My father fell on the ground and he was bleeding from his neck. I stopped my scooter and started screaming for help. Another man came and the three sat on the bike and fled from the spot.”

With the help of others, Kolhe was rushed to a nearby hospital where he died the same night during treatment. Within 24 hours the Amravati police arrested two men and, based on investigation, three others were subsequently arrested.

The arrested suspects are Muddasir Ahmed aka Sonu Raza Shaikh (22), a resident of Bismillah Nagar behind Abuzar mosque, Shahrukh Pathan aka Badshah Hidayat Khan (25), a resident of Sufiyan Nagar, Nanu aka Abdul Taufiq (24) of Lalkhali area near Imam Hussain mosque, Atib Rashid (22) of Maulana Azad Nagar and Shoaib alias Bhurya Khan, a resident of Chaya Nagar. Shoaib was the one who stabbed Kolhe, the police said.