29 Jun 2022

Udaipur Tailor Complained Of Threats In Days Before Murder: Police

A few weeks before his horrific photographic assassination, Udaipur fashion designer Kanhaiya Lal complained of death threats in a post in support of BJP leader Nupur Sharma, whose comments on the Prophet Muhammad sparked protests in India and rejection from Gulf states.
Kanhaiya Lal was arrested on June 10 following a complaint about the position. Five days after his release on bail, he told police he had been threatened and harassed by his neighbors. Police intervened and the tailor and neighbors allegedly threatened him and community leaders from both sides, and the matter was resolved. Kanhaiya Lal gave a written statement to the police that no further action was taken. Then the threats started again.

A police investigator who received Kanhaiya's complaint and who was in charge of mediation has been suspended. Police interrogated community leaders who intervened to restore peace at the time.

"All parties and community leaders were called to the police station and the matter was resolved," said Hawa Singh Ghumariya.

"The police will investigate other stakeholders. We are investigating the role of community leaders who are trying to create peace," he added.

Kanhaiya Lal, 48, was killed Tuesday afternoon in her shop by two men, Gos Mohammad and Riyaz Akhtari, who filmed the crime and rejoiced in the video, threatening Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The two were arrested while trying to escape on a bicycle, their faces covered with helmets.

The agency referred the case to the Anti-Terror Investigating Agency, which regarded the incident as a terrorist attack.

Kanjaiya Lal, a father of two, was avoiding the shop because of threats, his wife said. He went to his store yesterday a week later.

Gos Mohammad and Riyaz Akhtari entered the Kanhaiya Lal store pretending to be customers. The video they took shows a tailor measuring one of the men, who then attacked him with a machete. Police said they tried to cut off the tailor's head but failed.

Protests erupted yesterday, after which the government ordered a curfew in some parts of Rajasthan and shut down internet and social gatherings for a month.

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