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BJP terms Kanhaiya Lal's killing terror attack, says Rajasthan government's policies encouraging extremists

BJP spokesperson Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore slammed Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot for terming the incident as a murder, and said Lal’s killing was not an isolated incident but marked continuation of a series of crimes linked to religious bigotry.

June 29, 2022 / 04:35 PM IST
Rajyavardhan Rathore

Rajyavardhan Rathore

Asserting that the killing of tailor Kanhaiya Lal in Udaipur was not merely a murder but a "terror attack", the BJP on June 29 held the Congress government in Rajasthan responsible for the grisly crime and claimed that terror outfits are flourishing in the state due to its appeasement policy towards one community.

BJP spokesperson Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore slammed Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot for terming the incident as a murder, and said Lal’s killing was not an isolated incident but marked continuation of a series of crimes linked to religious bigotry.

Not a week has gone by when some "jihadi" incident has not happened in the state, he told a press conference.

Killers filmed his killing and made the video viral to terrorise the country, he said, calling it a terror attack. Rathore also hit out at Gehlot for asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make an appeal for peace as there is communal tension in the country, saying the chief minister should leave his chair if he cannot provide security to people and handle the situation amid internal feud in his own party.

To make claims about "mahaul", a reference to Gehlot speaking of communal tension in the country, is making an excuse for such terror attacks, he said. The Congress is losing power in one state after another, and this talk of 'mahaul' is manufactured claim from its leaders, he said.

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Citing several violence incidents in different parts of the state and a recent call from a Muslim cleric for beheading, apparently after suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma’s offensive remarks against Prophet Mohammad, Rathore said the state government never worked for people’s security and in fact allowed a radical outfit to take out a rally instead of stopping it.

While Kanhaiya Lal kept seeking security, he was arrested and never given any security while brother of a killer was given police protection, the BJP leader alleged, noting that the tailor was attacked and his throat slit at the first opportunity by the killer when he opened his shop after keeping it closed for some days.

Two men, identified as Riaz Akhtari and Ghouse Mohammad, with a cleaver hacked Lal to death in Udaipur city’s Dhan Mandi area and posted videos online that said they are avenging an insult to Islam, triggering stray cases of violence in the Rajasthan city, a part of which was placed under curfew.

In a video clip, Akhtari declared that they had "beheaded" the man and went on to threaten Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying their knife will get him as well. Indirectly, the assailants also referred to Nupur Sharma.

"Kanhaiya Lal’s throat was slit in a terror attack. There is outrage across the country, and a feeling of insecurity has hit the common man," Rathore said, asking people to maintain peace and harmony. Their anger is justified, he added.

Terror outfits have been flourishing in the state, and the Gehlot government in its three-and-a-half years of tenure has directly or indirectly encouraged them, he alleged, saying it has taken one decision after another to appease one community while being strict towards another.

It has led to sleeper cells linked with terror outfits being active in the state, he said, claiming those forces in and outside India wanting to destabilise the country are using the state.

With the Centre deciding to treat the tailor’s killing as a terror incident and asking the National Investigation Agency to extensively probe the incident, including if any organisation or international links were behind the sensational killing, Rahore said the NIA will probe all angles. This will include whether some people have abetted the crime, he said.
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