The National Investigation Agency on Wednesday conducted searches at the residences of the accused arrested for the murder of Amravati resident Umesh Kolhe, who was allegedly killed for posting a WhatsApp message in support of a suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma.
Kolhe, a chemist by profession, had been attacked and stabbed to death by three of the accused on the night of June 21 this year. The police went on to arrest a total of seven accused in the case and earlier this month, the case was officially handed over to the NIA.
On Wednesday, multiple teams of the NIA conducted searches at a total of 13 locations in Amravati, all of them connected to the seven arrested accused.
“During the searches conducted on Wednesday at the premises of accused and suspects, digital devices like mobile phones, SIM cards, memory cards and DVRs as well as pamphlets spreading hate messages, knives and other incriminating documents and materials have been seized,” an NIA officer said.
The officer added that further investigations against the accused are underway.
The accused, identified as Muddasar Ahmad, Shahrukh Pathan, Abdul Taufiq, Shoaib Khan, Atib Rashid, Yusuf Khan (32) Shaikh Irfan Shaikh Rahim, were officially taken into transit custody by the NIA on Monday, after the case was handed over to them last week. The NIA is to produce them in a local court by or before July 8.
The NIA has also recovered footage from three Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras covering the scene of the crime, which shows the accused lying in wait for Kolhe and ambushing him. Further, the NIA has also recovered screenshots of Kolhe’s message, which he had posted on a WhatsApp group, from the mobile phone of one of the accused. The agency suspects that this screenshot was circulated among the accused, which led to the planning and execution of the murder.