Two Muslim men were arrested in the Indian city of Udaipur, in the western state of Rajasthan, for allegedly beheading a Hindu tailor for his online support of a former ruling party official whose statements about the Prophet Muhammad sparked international outrage.
On Wednesday, one day after Kanhaiya Lal’s murder, mobile internet services and large gatherings were still prohibited in Udaipur.
Lal was repeatedly stabbed inside his tailoring shop on Tuesday by two attackers wielding cleavers and apparently filming the crime. In the video, the couple accused Lal of blasphemy.
In another video, the two men claimed responsibility for the murder and allegedly threatened Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a similar attack.
A video of Lal laying on the ground with his throat slashed was broadcast on television. The suspects were reportedly apprehended hours after the incident while attempting to flee the city on motorcycles.
“Both murder suspects have been apprehended, and we will ensure swift and severe justice,” Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot tweeted.
Gehlot advised everyone to keep their cool and refrain from sharing the video, as doing so would “help the terrorists’ goal of sowing discord in society.”
Authorities sent more police to Udaipur on Tuesday in an effort to quell any religious unrest.
According to Hawa Singh Ghumaria, a senior police officer, the murder has sent “shockwaves throughout the country.” “We are under strict orders not to hold any rallies or demonstrations condemning the murder,” he added.
Asaduddin Owaisi, a member of parliament, condemned the killing.
Individuals may not take the law into their own hands. That is a terrible action. He described the situation as “inhumane.”
The incident in Udaipur, according to Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, is “barbaric, uncivilized, and there is no justification for violence in Islam.”
It is strongly condemned by us. No citizen should try to enforce the law on their own. “Let the legal process take its course,” the organization said on Twitter.
Detractors have accused Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of marginalizing the Muslim community and sowing discord among Hindus since taking power in 2014.
Hindus and Muslims clashed in Jodhpur last month during religious festivals of both communities in Rajasthan, which is governed by the opposition Congress party.
A Hindu man in Rajasthan brutally murdered a Muslim laborer in a religious attack in 2017, then posted a video of the victim being beheaded and set on fire.
According to local media, Lal made a social media post ten days ago in support of Nupur Sharma, the BJP’s suspended spokesperson who made inflammatory remarks about the Prophet Muhammad and his wife Aisha on a television show in May.
Another BJP leader, Naveen Kumar Jindal, backed Sharma’s remarks and issued more anti-Islamic tweets, sparking outrage in India and several Muslim countries.
To lessen the blow, the BJP suspended Sharma, expelled Jindal, and issued an unusual statement declaring its support for all religions.
In India, the topic sparked nationwide, often violent protests. At least two people were killed by police bullets, and several Muslim homes were demolished.