The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested two more people in connection with the murder of pharmacist Umesh Kolhe, who ran a medical shop, in Maharashtra’s Amravati.
CNN-News18 has accessed the inside track of investigation into the grisly murder which, according to police, was perpetrated as Kolhe shared a post supporting suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma’s controversial remarks about Prophet Mohammad.
Top sources have told CNN-News18 that the two arrested accused — identified as Abdul Arbaz and Maulvi Mushifique Ahmed — are criminal associates of the accused arrested earlier.
Ahmed is the Jamat-e-Ulema Hind president in Amravati and was in touch with the administrator of Rahbar NGO, Irfan Sheikh, the alleged mastermind of Kolhe’s murder.
Sources said after the Prophet post shared by Kolhe, Ahmed participated in meetings and planned the chemist’s murder. On June 21, when Kolhe was murdered, Irfan informed Ahmed on the phone that the “boys had killed the ‘gustakh medical guy’.”
Both the accused were in regular touch over the phone and through physical meetings, before and after the killing. Thus, sources said, Ahmed appears to have played an active role in the whole conspiracy, including in helping the accused escape after the killing and in arranging shelter for them.
Both Irfan and Ahmed are followers of Tablighi Jamaat and sources said it seems Irfan executed the murder since he was influenced by Ahmed who wanted “serious punishment” for Kolhe and “asked all of them to do something which will be remembered”.
Once the murder was executed, he met the accused again and assured all logistical support. Ahmed’s association with the Jamat-e-Ulema, Tablighi Jamaat and PFI is well-known in Amravati.
The NIA is probing PFI’s direct link with the murder and is confident that with this arrest, direct linkages will also be established.
The Intel sources added that Ahmed is running a force of 250 youth who immediately inform him after any incident. He is getting funding in the name of religion from Kuwait and Qatar and using the money for his personal work too.