Two Muslim clerics and two civilians were arrested in the last week of January over killing a man accused of an allegedly offensive Facebook post.
The first Muslim cleric was arrested on January 28 after the cleric was linked to the murder two days earlier. Mohammad Ayub Javrawala was nabbed by Gujarat’s Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) in Ahmedabad. The other cleric, Maulvi Kamargani Usmani, was later arrested in Delhi.
The victim, Kishan Boliya, was shot by two men riding a motorcycle on January 25.
According to India Today, Boliya’s murder stemmed from a post he made on Facebook on January 6, 2022. The post was allegedly objectionable as it had “hurt religious sentiments of people from the minority community.”
A group of Muslims had also filed a police complaint before the murder. The group claimed that Boliya’s Facebook post hurt their religious feelings.
The two suspects, 25-year old Shabbir Chopda and 27-year old Imtiaz Pathan, were arrested on January 28, following Javrawala’s arrest.
Imtiaz Shaikh, police superintendent of the Anti-Terrorism Squad, said they have evidence that the murder suspects communicated with Usmani. Shaikh said Shabbir Chopda, who shot Boliya, spoke with Usmani through Instagram.
Usmani runs an organization whose goal is to oppose anyone who insults the Prophet, Muhammad. Usmani has incited youth members of his group to retaliate against Boliya. Usmani arranged for Chopda to acquire a gun and instructed him to contact Javrawala.
Harsh Sanghavi, Minister of State for Home, assured Boliya’s family that the police would provide justice for his death.