Murder of Kanhaiya Lal

On 28 June 2022, Kanhaiya Lal Teli, an Indian Hindu tailor was murdered by two Muslim men in Udaipur, in the Indian state of Rajasthan. The attackers captured the attack on camera and circulated the video online.[2][3][4]

Murder of Kanhaiya Lal
Part of 2022 Muhammad remarks controversy
LocationUdaipur, Rajasthan, India
Date28 June 2022 (2022-06-28)
Attack type
Murder, Islamic terrorism
VictimKanhaiya Lal
No. of participants
AccusedMuhammad Riyaz Attari
Muhammad Ghaus
ChargesCharged under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act[1]

Lal was killed for allegedly sharing a social media post in support of Indian politician and Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Nupur Sharma, whose comments led to the 2022 Muhammad remarks controversy.[2] The assailants entered Lal's store posing as customers before killing him.[5] Videos of the murder were posted on the internet,[6] with two alleged assailants holding butcher knives and claiming responsibility for the murder, identifying themselves as Muhammad Riyaz Attari and Muhammad Ghaus.[7]

Local authorities announced a curfew and blocked internet access after videos of the attack went viral on social media, triggering mass outrage across India.[3]

Background edit

Kanhaiya Lal Teli (also reported as Kanhaiya Lal Sahu, born c. 1982) was a tailor from the Dhanmandi area of Udaipur, the father of two sons who belonged to the Hindu Teli community.[8][9][10]

On June 11, Lal's neighbor Nazim had registered a case against him over a controversial social media post, stating support for Nupur Sharma, which led to Lal's arrest. Subsequently, Lal was released on bail. On June 15, Lal had filed a request for protection with the local police after receiving death threats.[2] In his complaint against Nazim and five others at Dhan Mandi police station, Lal stated that he was receiving threats from Nazim and others and alleged that the group had circulated his photo within their community on social media with a message that Lal should be killed if seen anywhere or if he opens his shop. The police said that they had mediated and resolved the matter between Nazim and Lal. Kanhaiya then gave a statement to police that he does not want any further action in the case. Lal said that the controversial post was shared inadvertently by his son while playing a game on his phone, and that Lal did not know how to operate a phone.[11]

Murder edit

Muhammad Riyaz Attari, one of the two accused, had made a video days before the attack on June 17 where he stated his intent for murder for remarks against the prophet Muhammad, to make a "viral" video and his disregard for further consequences.[12]

On June 28, two assailants entered Lal's tailor shop posing as customers. When Lal began taking the measurements for one of them, he was attacked with cleavers at 2.45 p.m. The entire attack was caught on video by the assailants. After subduing Lal, the two accused dragged him out of the shop and slit his throat with a makeshift dagger made at their welding workshop.[13] Lal was stabbed at different parts of the body.[14] A shop assistant of Lal also sustained severe head injuries trying to save him.[15] Other shopkeepers did not make attempts to rescue him. The assailants fled on foot and then drove away on a motorcycle.[13]

In what seems to be a second video (taken after the attack), they boasted about the murder to avenge the insult to Islam[16] and also made threats against India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi.[17]

Aftermath edit

After the incident, the local markets in the area were shut down and the traders demanded arrest of the accused.[18] Protests demanding immediate action were staged in various parts of India.[19]

Local authorities of Udaipur imposed a 24-hour curfew and blocked internet access across the state of Rajasthan.[3][20] The central government deployed the National Investigation Agency, India's primary counterterrorism unit, to investigate the incident.[2] The police said that the perpetrators had attempted to behead Kanhaiya during the attack but had failed.[21]

On 28 June, the Rajasthan government announced a compensation of 50 lakh (US$63,000) for the family of Kanhaiya. On 6 July, the government announced jobs for Kanhaiya's two sons.[22]

On 2 June, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kapil Mishra visited the family of Kanhaiya Lal, where he announced a compensation of 1 crore (US$130,000) for the family of Kanhaiya. Further, he announced compensation amounting to 25 lakh (US$31,000) for Ishvar, who was also wounded in the attack, and of 5 lakh (US$6,300) to a police constable, Sandeep, who had been injured by a violent mob.[23]

Perpetrators edit

The assailants were identified as Muhammad Riyaz Attari of Asind in Bhilwara and Ghaus Muhammad, both welders (Ghaus also ran a chit fund and was a broker) who had shifted to Udaipur years back and were residents of the Khanjipeer locality.[24][17][25] The two belonged to the Barelvi sect of Sunni Islam and were members of the Dawat-e-Islami, a Barelvi organization based in Karachi, Pakistan and lead by Muhammad Ilyas Attar Qadri.[26][27] Ghaus Mohammad had attended religious sessions organized by Dawat-e-Islami in Karachi in 2014 and the "Attari" surname of Mohammad Riyaz Attari is carried by followers of Muhammad Ilyas Attar Qadri.[28][29]

While the Barelvi movement, a subsect of the Hanafis which is the most numerous in India, is seen as a less stringent strand of Islam as compared to the Deobandis, most vigilante beheadings in the region for alleged blasphemers of Islam have been linked to the sect. Such as those of Pakistani Punjab governor Salman Taseer by his bodyguard Malik Mumtaz Qadri recently in 2011 or of Mahashe Rajpal, publisher of Rangila Rasul, by Ilm-ud-din before partition in 1929.[26][30][27] This variance between the Deobandis and Barelvis might be linked to juridical differences between the two groups, where the former believes foremost in achieving an Islamic administration in a country before meting out punishment according to sharia while the latter in 'instant justice'.[26] The recent rise in such lynching cases has been attributed to Khadim Hussain Rizvi, follower of Barelvi founder Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi hence the surname "Rizvi" and leader of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan, who popularized the slogan "Gustakh-e-Rasul/Nabi ki ek hi saza, sar tan se juda" (lit.'Only one punishment for insult of the prophet [Muhammad], head separated from body') against alleged blasphemers.[26][27]

The assailants were arrested by authorities in the Rajsamand district of Rajasthan on June 28, reportedly while trying to flee.[31]

In a 2020 post on Facebook, Attari had been described by a local Bharatiya Janata Party and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh leader as a "dedicated worker of the BJP".[25][32][33]

Investigations also revealed that Attari was riding a motorbike with a customized number plate carrying the number "2611", in reference to the 26/11 terrorist attacks.[34][35] During interrogations, the assailants described themselves as "self-radicalized".[29] According to police investigation, the duo planned to initially kill Lal at his home.[36]

Reactions edit

In response to the murder, nearly 7000 people took out silent protest march in the city of Udaipur.[37]

United Nations spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric called for religious harmony and peace globally in response to Kanhaiya Lal's murder.[38][39][40]

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) condemned the murder stating, "taking law into your own hands is highly condemnable, regrettable and un-Islamic" and added, "Neither the law nor the Islamic Sharia allow it."[41] Head of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, Maulana Mahmood Madani stated, "Udaipur incident is a disgrace to humanity; It is disgrace to humanity & an act of defaming Islam. No matter whosoever is a killer, no one has the authority to take the law and order into his own hands." Religious body Jamaat-e-Islami Hind called the incident "barbaric, Uncivilized and there is no room for Justification of violence in Islam. Peace should not be disturbed. Nobody should try to take advantage of this ugly crime".[41] Shahabuddin Razvi of the Barelvi All India Tanzeem Ulama-e-Islam also condemned the attack, stating "Muslims should not take the law in their own hands, complain to the government, it is the government's job to punish."[42]

Hindu organisations like Vishva Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal staged protests and demanded strict action against the culprits. Although the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh remained silent, RSS-linked Muslim Rashtriya Manch demanded capital punishment for the accused.[43]

Dutch politician Geert Wilders condemned the incident and cautioned the Indian Hindus against "appeasement of Muslims".[44]

Amnesty International condemned the incident and urged the Indian government to take action against killers.[45][46]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Udaipur tailor murder | NIA registers UAPA case, says accused wanted to 'strike terror among masses'". The Hindu. PTI. 29 June 2022. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2 July 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d Raj, Suhasini (29 June 2022). "Religious Unrest Spreads in India With Killing of Hindu Man". The New York Times.
  3. ^ a b c Gupta, Swati; Mogul, Rhea; Mitra, Esha; Stambaugh, Alex (29 June 2022). "Brutal killing caught on camera stokes India religious tensions". CNN.
  4. ^ "Udaipur: Rajasthan on edge after Prophet Muhammad row beheading". BBC News. 30 June 2022.
  5. ^ "Tailor murdered in Udaipur Rajasthan, accused confessed on social media". The Hindu. 28 June 2022. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 28 June 2022.
  6. ^ PTI (28 June 2022). "Tailor murdered in Rajasthan's Udaipur, assailants film crime". Retrieved 28 June 2022.
  7. ^ "Udaipur: Tailor beheaded on video over 'social media posts' supporting Nupur Sharma, both accused arrested". The Financial Express (India). 28 June 2022.
  8. ^ "Leaders, Muslim Bodies Condemn Beheading Of Udaipur Tailor Kanhaiya Lal Over Prophet Remarks". Outlook India. 29 June 2022.
  9. ^ "Kanhaiya Lal Sahu murder case: 7 accused in remand at NIA court". Patrika (in Hindi). 11 July 2022.
  10. ^ Misra, Shubhangi (29 June 2022). "Empty streets, 'Jai Shri Ram', RAF – Udaipur prepares for Hindu tailor's funeral". ThePrint.
  11. ^ "Udaipur murder | Kanhaiya Lal had told cops some people were conducting recce of his shop". The Hindu. PTI. 29 June 2022.
  12. ^ "Udaipur murder: Killer announced his plan in 'June 17' video". The Times of India. 30 June 2022.
  13. ^ a b Pandey, Devesh K. (29 June 2022). "Udaipur tailor murder | Initial probe finds Pakistan link". The Hindu.
  14. ^ "Udaipur Tailor's Killers Attacked At Court, How It Happened: 10 Latest Facts". NDTV. 2 July 2022.
  15. ^ "Family of Kanhaiya Lal's aide struggles to survive". The Times of India. 3 July 2022. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
  16. ^ "Watch: How Men in Video of Udaipur Murder were caught". NDTV. 30 June 2022.
  17. ^ a b Backhouse, Andrew (30 June 2022). "Tailor beheaded in India, protests erupt, internet cut off".
  18. ^ "Udaipur: Tailor murdered in his shop, assailants film crime". Business Today (India). PTI. 28 June 2022. Retrieved 2 July 2022.
  19. ^ "Udaipur killing: Protests held in different cities". The Indian Express. 29 June 2022. Retrieved 30 June 2022.
  20. ^ Zargar, Arshad R. (29 June 2022). "Curfew imposed as sectarian tension soars after a brutal murder in India". CBS News.
  21. ^ "Udaipur Tailor's Killers Attacked At Court, How It Happened: 10 Latest Facts". NDTV. 1 July 2022. Retrieved 2 July 2022.
  22. ^ Upadhyay, Omvesh (8 July 2022). "Udaipur killing: Rajasthan announces govt jobs for Kanhaiya Lal's sons". Financial Express. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
  23. ^ "BJP leader Kapil Mishra meets Udaipur tailor's kin, announces Rs 1 cr aid". 2 July 2022.
  24. ^ Pandey, Devesh K. (30 June 2022). "Police search metal factory for clues in Udaipur tailor murder case". The Hindu.
  25. ^ a b "As Photos Emerge of Udaipur Killer's Links to BJP Leaders, Party Moves to Damage Control Mode". The Wire (India). 2 July 2022. Retrieved 2 July 2022.
  26. ^ a b c d Tiwari, Sanjay (4 July 2022). "कहां से आया "सर तन से जुदा" का नारा?". (in Hindi).
  27. ^ a b c "Explained: The Sufi-Barelvi sect linked to the Udaipur killing and the other brands of extremist Islam". Firstpost. 29 June 2022.
  28. ^ "Udaipur killers and Da'wat-e-Islami: the group, its ideology and its growth". The Indian Express. 29 June 2022.
  29. ^ a b "Kanhaiya Lal's killers tried to infiltrate BJP cadre, reveals probe". Hindustan Times. 2 July 2022.
  30. ^ "Pakistani Cleric Describes Executed Assassin Malik Mumtaz Qadri As A 'Hero Of Muslims', Quotes The Koran: 'Those Who Were Martyred In The Path Of Allah, Do Not Even Consider Them Dead, They Are Alive'". MEMRI.
  31. ^ Achom, Debanish, ed. (30 June 2022). "Watch: How Men In Video Of Udaipur Murder Were Caught". NDTV.
  32. ^ "Tailor's murder: Congress alleges one accused is a BJP member". The Telegraph (India). 2 July 2022. Retrieved 2 July 2022.
  33. ^ Mukhopadhyay, Sounak, ed. (2 July 2022). "Udaipur killer is a BJP karyakarta, claims Congress". Mint. Retrieved 2 July 2022.
  34. ^ Ojha, Arvind (1 July 2022). "Udaipur murder accused fled in bike with 2611 as number plate, say police". India Today.
  35. ^ "Udaipur horror accused paid extra money to get 26/11 Mumbai terror attack date as his motorbike number". The Tribune (Chandigarh). 1 July 2022.
  36. ^ "Udaipur tailor's murder: Duo planned to kill tailor at his home, couldn't locate address". The Times of India. TNN. 1 July 2022.
  37. ^ "Thousands protest in India's Udaipur after Hindu tailor murdered". 30 June 2022.
  38. ^ "Udaipur murder | 'We call for full respect of all religions, ensuring different communities can live in harmony, peace': U.N. spokesperson". The Hindu. PTI. 30 June 2022. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 3 July 2022.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  39. ^ "'We call for full respect of all religions, ensuring different communities can live in harmony, peace': UN spokesperson on Udaipur killing". The Indian Express. PTI. 30 June 2022. Retrieved 3 July 2022.
  40. ^ "Guterres calls for respecting all religions in aftermath of Udaipur killing". Business Standard. IANS. 30 June 2022. Retrieved 3 July 2022.
  41. ^ a b Sharma, Sunny (2 July 2022). "Tailor's gruesome murder sparks communal tension". Tehelka. Retrieved 2 July 2022.
  42. ^ "Barelvi Muslims' fatwa on Udaipur killing: Beheading is crime, slogan from Pak". Hindustan Times. 7 July 2022.
  43. ^ "Udaipur tailor murder: RSS-linked Muslim body demands capital punishment". Business Standard India. Press Trust of India. 30 June 2022. Retrieved 30 June 2022.
  44. ^ "'Don't appease…': Message from Dutch MP Geert Wilders who supports Nupur Sharma". Hindustan Times. 29 June 2022. Archived from the original on 30 June 2022. Retrieved 30 June 2022.
  45. ^ "India: Amnesty International condemns shocking murder of Kanhaiya Lal". Amnesty International. 29 June 2022.
  46. ^ "Govt must ensure no impunity for those responsible for hate crimes: Amnesty on tailor murder". The Telegraph (India). 29 June 2022.