Umesh Kolhe murder: Accused vet seeks bail, claims he is staunch Sunni Muslim, not Tablighi Jamaat member
Mumbai: Yusuf Khan, a veterinary doctor, one of the accused in the murder of Amravati pharmacist Umesh Kolhe, on Monday moved a bail plea before a NIA court
Mumbai: Yusuf Khan, a veterinary doctor, one of the accused in the murder of Amravati pharmacist Umesh Kolhe, on Monday moved a bail plea before a NIA court. He claimed that he is a staunch Sunni Muslim following the Barelvi School of Thought.
Kolhe, who ran a medical store in Amravati, was on his way home on his scooter on the night of June 21 when he was accosted by three men on a bike and hacked to death.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA), which probed the case in the charge sheet claimed that the men responsible for Kolhe’s murder were religiously radicalised, were members of Tablighi Jamaat and instigated by social activist Irfan Khan and maulvi Mushifique Ahmad.
The charge sheet against 11 accused claimed that, “Radicalised Islamist of the Tablighi Jamaat committed murder of Umesh Kolhe.” The NIA claimed that the accused were highly influenced by the ideology of brutality “Gustakh-e-Nabi ki ek hi saza, sar tan se juda.”
Khan in his plea refuted the claim and said he was a staunch Sunni Muslim, following the “Barelvi School of Thought”, which is based on “Sufi mystic teachings” and not a member of “Tablighi Jamaat.” “Pertinently, the members of Sunni Bareli Sect are ideologically opposed to the ideology followed by the Tablighi Jamaat,” the plea stated.
To prove his claim, Khan also attached the photos of his visits to several Sufi Shrines. “Members of Tablighi Jamaat follow the strict Salafi School of Thought who do not visit the graves of Sufi saints, as for them, the same is forbidden according to their interpretation of Islam. However, the present applicant visits Sufi Shrines all over India, in adherence to his religious beliefs.”
Kolhe was allegedly killed for supporting former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma over her objectionable remarks about the Prophet.
Khan was accused of circulating a message posted by Kolhe in a group named ‘black freedom’ on June 14. The NIA claimed that Yusuf intentionally took a screenshot of the post and after changing Kolhe’s number circulated it in another group, ‘Kalim Ibrahim’, created by Irfan and others. With this the NIA claimed that the conspiracy to eliminate Kolhe began.
Denying the allegations, Khan in his plea said, “The message allegedly forwarded by the present applicant and without prejudice, the alleged words attributed to it also cannot establish that it was a call to kill the deceased and what it shows from the plain reading thereof, is a call for economic boycott of cattle owners of Amravati, of not to purchase medicines from the pharmacy of the deceased.”