Samsul Laskar

Silchar: The Assam police arrested a man in south Assam’s Hailakandi district on Thursday for allegedly posting an “objectionable” comment on social media supporting the killing of Kanhaiya Lal, the tailor who was murdered by two men in Udaipur, Rajasthan on Tuesday.

Kanhaiya Lal (48), a tailor by profession, was killed on Tuesday in his shop in Udaipur by two men, identified as Riaz Akhtari and Ghouse Mohammad, who posted videos online and said they were avenging an insult to Islam. The two men, who slit Kanhaiya’s throat, were arrested after the incident. They were produced before a court on Thursday and sent to 14 days in judicial custody.

On June 15, Kanhaiya had complained to police about death threats and harassment by his neighbours over his post on social media supporting BJP leader Nupur Sharma, whose “provocative” remarks on Prophet Muhammad had sparked anger in Gulf nations and massive protests across India. As per the investigation in the case, the two men (who killed Kanhaiya) had links with Pakistan-based group Dawat-e-Islami and one of them also went to Karachi in 2014.

An FIR was lodged with Hailakandi Sadar police station on Thursday by Milon Das, BJP Yuva Morcha president of the Hailakandi unit, against Samsul Laskar, who hails from Katlicherra in Hailakandi district.

In his statement to the police, Milon said that Samsul had commented on a post by a person named Abu Choudhury and supported Kanhaiya Lal’s killing.

“The act by Samsul is tantamount to supporting the terrorist organisation, which was behind the killing and this is disturbing the communal harmony across the district,” Milon said. He further demanded that the matter be treated with utmost importance and action be taken against Samsul.

Samsul, whose Facebook profile shows that he works at SK Roy College in Katlicherra, had commented on a post given by a person Abu Choudhury about the killing of Kanhaiya Lal. Samsul made the comment in Bengali – “হত্যা করেছে ভালোই করেছে – এত বড় এক অপরাধীকে কেনো সমর্থন করলো ! (Rough translation: Good that he was murdered – Why did he support such a criminal !”

Abu Choudhury, in his post, condemned the killing of Kanhaiya Lal and demanded capital punishment for the culprits involved in the murder.

Screengrabs of Abu’s post and Samsul’s comment are available with EastMojo. In a statement, the SK Roy College, Katlicherra authority, however, said Samsul is not and was never associated with the college and the information on his Facebook profile (about his association with the college) is false.

Based on the FIR, police registered a case against Samsul under Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), 505 (1) (c) (statements with the intent to incite, or which is likely to incite, any class or community of persons to commit any offence against any other class or community) and 505 (2) (statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 39 (offence relating to support given to a terrorist organisation) of The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 and a initiated a probe. Later, Samsul was arrested, the sources said.

Milon Das praised the Hailakandi police for taking prompt action regarding the matter and arresting Samsul. He demanded that stern action be taken against the arrested person as per law.

Hailakandi superintendent of police Gaurav Upadhyay told EastMojo that Samsul was held on Thursday and a further probe is underway.

Protests erupted across the country against the killing of Kanhaiya Lal ever since the gruesome incident took place. On Thursday, around 1,000 people from various Hindu organisations took out a procession in Udaipur amid tight security. The protesters held up saffron flags and chanted slogans demanding justice for the deceased.

The Union home ministry has handed over the murder case’s investigation to the National Investigation Agency. Rajasthan director general of police ML Lather has told the media that Kanhaiya’s murder was a planned act of terror. 

On Thursday, Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot visited the house of Kanhaiya Lal and spoke to the family members and relatives of Lal. The CM handed over a cheque of Rs. 50 lakh to Kanhaiya’s family as financial assistance from the government.

Also Read | Man beheaded in Udaipur for allegedly supporting Nupur Sharma

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