The gruesome killing of a chemist in Amravati on June 21 is being registered by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

The NIA has concluded that Umesh Prahladrao Kolhe‘s death is linked to his support for Nupur Sharma, a former BJP leader who was suspended for her controversial remarks on Prophet Mohammad, which led to protests and drew worldwide attention. 

According to the NIA, three Islamists attacked Kolhe while he was returning from his medical equipment shop on a scooter. The accused allegedly followed Kolhe on a bike and hacked him to death on the road. Kolhe’s son Sanket (27) and wife Vaishnavi were travelling on another scooter. They were unable to save him as he died on the spot due to excessive blood loss. 

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“We were moving from Prabhat Chowk and our scooters had reached New High School’s gate. Two men on a bike suddenly came in front of my father’s scooter. One of them had a knife in his hand. They stopped my father’s bike and one of them stabbed my father on his neck with the knife. My father fell on the ground and he was bleeding from his neck. I stopped my scooter and started screaming for help. Another man came and the three sat on the bike and fled from the spot,” Sanket told the police in his complaint.

At the time, local police classified the killing as a robbery-gone-wrong even though the killers did not touch a bag, which is believed to have been with Kolhe and had nearly ₹35,000 cash, according to reports.

According to the NIA, the main culprit in Kolhe’s killing is still absconding while two other accomplices have been arrested.

Prima facie examination of the seized electronic devices indicates that the murderers were radicalized and decided to carry out the ISIS-style killing, according to the Hindustan Times.

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Both the Udaipur and Amravati killings are being personally monitored by director-general NIA Dinkar Gupta.

The Amaravati killing took place a week before the brutal killing of a tailor in Rajasthan’s Udaipur. Two attackers entered Kanhaiya Lal‘s shop and hacked him death. They later posted a video of the attack on social media taking responsibility of the killing and saying they are avenging an insult to Islam.

Meanwhile, the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism (ATS) on Saturday arrived in Amravati to investigate the terror angle in the 54-year-old chemist’s killing.