Kanhaiya Lal, a tailor, was beheaded inside his shop in Udaipur on June 28 last year for allegedly posting content in support of suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma.
Rajasthan Assembly Elections: In a fresh attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the assembly elections, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot made a startling admission and said that the killers of Udaipur tailor Kanhaiya Lal Teli were linked to the BJP. He also said that the saffron party was trying to whip up communal tension ahead of the November 25 elections in the state.
Gehlot’s remark came days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused the ruling Congress in Rajasthan of sympathising with terrorists while recalling the murder of Kanhaiya Lal. Notably, Kanhaiya Lal was murdered on June 28 last year by two assailants who accused him of insulting Islam.
Here’s what Ashok Gehlot claims
Speaking to reporters in Jodhpur on Sunday, Chief Minister Gehlot said that if the Special Operations Group (SOG) of the Rajasthan Police had been in charge of the investigation instead of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the inquiry would have reached a more logical conclusion.
“It was an unfortunate incident and I cancelled my scheduled events and left for Udaipur as soon as I learned of it. However, several top leaders of the BJP chose to attend an event in Hyderabad even after learning of the Udaipur incident,” Gehlot told reporters.
“The culprits have links to the BJP. Days before the incident, when the police had arrested these accused in some other case and some BJP leaders visited the police station to get them released,” he said.
He mentioned that the NIA assumed control of the case on the day of the incident, and the state government did not raise any objections to this decision. “No one knows what action the NIA has taken. If our SOG had pursued the case, the culprits would have been brought to justice by now,” CM Gehlot said.”
The thing is that BJP has sensed defeat in the elections and are, hence, coming up with bizarre claims. They are not speaking a word about the schemes that we launched and the laws we brought. They just want to stir up trouble ahead of the elections,” the Chief Minister said, adding that the people will give them a befitting reply.
PM Modi on Kanhaiya Lal case
On November 9, addressing a poll rally in Udaipur, PM Modi accused the ruling Congress in Rajasthan of sympathising with terrorists. “The murder of Kanhaiya Lal ji is a big stain on the state government. Such a heinous incident happened in Udaipur because there is a Congress government which sympathizes with terrorists,” the Prime Minister said.
“Terrorist organisations like Popular Front of India (PFI) hold rallies without fear in the state as the Congress government is a sympathiser of terrorists,” PM Modi said.
Last month, in a rally in Chittorgarh, Prime Minister Modi accused the Gehlot-led Congress government of playing a ‘vote-bank politics’ in the Kanhaiya Lal case. “What happened in Udaipur is too horrific to even imagine. Some persons visited the tailoring shops on the pretext of getting clothes stitched and slashed the throat of the tailor without any fear of the law. However, the Congress viewed this case through the prism of vote bank politics. I want to ask the Congress: what did you do in the aftermath of the killing of the Udaipur tailor other than playing vote bank politics?” PM Modi said at the rally on October 2.
Kanhaiya Lal murder case
Kanhaiya Lal, a tailor in Udaipur, was murdered on June 28 last year by two cleaver-wielding men in broad daylight, who had accused him of insulting Islam after he allegedly posted content in support of suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma. The accused had also made a video of the act and posted it online.
The beheading of the Udaipur tailor sent shockwaves across the country and sparked a public outcry.
The case was initially registered at Dhanmandi police station in Udaipur but was later re-registered by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on June 29, 2022. The brutal killing took place in Udaipur’s Maldas area on June 28.
Soon after committing the crime, the two accused posted a video on social media boasting about the “beheading” while threatening Prime Minister Narendra Modi with dire consequences as well, according to the police.
The two accused were arrested within hours of the incident. The assailants identified themselves in the video as Riyaz Akhtari and Ghouse Mohammad, police said.
What happened in the 2018 elections?
The 200-member Rajasthan Assembly is scheduled for elections on November 25, and the counting of votes will be on December 3.
In 2018, Congress won 100 seats in the 2018 Assembly polls. BJP followed at 73 seats while BSP garnered 6 seats. Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) gathered 3 seats with the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Bhartiya Tribal Party (BTP) mustered 2 seats each. Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) managed to grab just one seat while there were 13 independent candidates in the 2018 Assembly Elections.