Mumbai, July 2: A chemist in Amravati district of Maharashtra was stabbed to death after he allegedly shared a social media post in support of Nupur Sharma, whose abusive and provocative remarks against Prophet Muhammad snowballed into a major political issue.
The chemist, Umesh Prahladrao Kolhe, was killed on June 21, and five persons have been arrested so far in this connection, an official said.
The incident is being compared with the Udaipur murder in which tailor Kanhaiya Lal was killed in an apparent act of "vengeance" on June 28.
Amravati Police Commissioner Dr Aarti Singh said that five people have been arrested in connection with the murder so far, and the police is searching for the prime accused.
The police have also seized the knife used in the crime and obtained the CCTV footage that captured the events.
"Kolhe ran a medical store in Amravati city. He had allegedly shared a post on some WhatsApp groups in support of Nupur Sharma for her comments. He even shared the post in a WhatsApp group in which some Muslims were also members, including his customers," an official of the City Kotwali police station said.
The incident took place when Kolhe (54) was going home on a two-wheeler after closing his shop while his son Saket (27) and wife Vaishnavi were accompanying him on a different vehicle.
"When all of them reached near Mahila College's gate, two motorcycle-borne men came from behind and blocked Kolhe's path. A youth alighted from the motorcycle and stabbed Kolhe on his neck with a sharp weapon and escaped from the spot. Kolhe collapsed on the road in a pool of blood. Sanket rushed him to a hospital, where he died," the official said.
BJP MLC Dr Anil Bonde has demanded investigation into the case.