The National Investigation Agency (NIA) said on Wednesday that it has arrested two more persons in connection with the murder of Umesh Kolhe in Maharashtra’s Amravati district.
The two accused have been identified as Abdul Arbaz and Maulavi Mushfique Ahmed.
Both of them were associates of arrested accused persons Irfan Shaikh, Shoaib Khan, Mudassir Ahmed, Aatif Rashid, Yusuf Khan, Abdul Toufiq and Shahrukh Pathan and wanted accused, Shamim Ahmed and Firoj Ahmed. In total, nine accused have been held so far in connection with the case.
Kolhe (54) was murdered on June 21 after he wrote a post on Facebook in support of suspended BJP spoesperson Nupur Sharma.
The NIA mentioned in its FIR that a group of people had hatched a conspiracy to send a message to the people supporting Sharma.
“They conspired to strike terror among a section of people in India to promote enmity on grounds of religion. Kolhe’s murder was carried out as part of the conspiracy to ‘terrorise a section of the society’,” the NIA said.
The counter-terror agency also said that the accused in this case might be having international links.
The NIA had earlier conducted searches at 13 locations in Maharashtra, which led to the recovery of incriminating documents, digital devices, pamphlets with hate messages and knives.
The Kolhe murder case was initially registered at the City Kotwali police station on June 22. However, the probe was taken over by the NIA on July 2.