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24-year-old Pakistani citizen crosses border to kill Nupur Sharma, held


A 24-year-old Pakistani national with a plan to kill suspended Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nupur Sharma for her controversial statement against Prophet Mohammad was arrested from the India-Pakistan international border in the Sriganganagar district of Rajasthan, police said on Tuesday. Superintendent of police (SP), Anand Sharma said the accused was arrested by the Border Security Force (BSF) on the intervening night of July 16-17. The police have seized two knives, religious books, food and clothes from the bag in his possession.

The SP said BSF handed over the accused to the Hindumalkot police station. A first information report (FIR) was lodged and a joint investigation team started the investigation, which concluded today evening.

Sharma said the accused, identified as Rizwan Ashraf, son of Mohammad Ashraf, a resident of Mandi Bahauddin district of Pakistan, had sneaked into India from Hindumalkot international border.

“In the preliminary interrogation, he revealed his plan to kill BJP leader Nupur Sharma. He seems to be religiously motivated. He was produced before a court from where he was sent into police custody for five days,” said Sharma. He added that the accused had no idea about the residence of Nupur Sharma and how he will reach to her. The SP said that his links are also being interrogated. He is being interrogated from July 18, he said.

An FIR has been registered against the accused under sections of Foreigners Act, Indian Passport Act and Arms Act. The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted protection to Nupur Sharma from any coercive action in FIRs and complaints registered in connection to her comments on Prophet Mohammad. During the argument, senior advocate Maninder Singh, who appeared for Nupur Sharma, said that she has been extended threats to life and it has come on record that a person from Pakistan has travelled to India to attack her. He said that recently in Patna, some alleged extremists, who are said to have Nupur Sharma as their target, were arrested. On June 28, a tailor, Kanhaiya Lal, was hacked to death by Mohammad Riyaz Akhtar and Gaus Mohammed in Rajasthan’s Udaipur for supporting Nupur Sharma’s remarks.The accused captured the killing on their phones and issued a threat to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as they proudly posed with the knives used in the murder. The hate crime sent shock waves across the country and the duo was arrested within hours after the crime. Subsequently, the Centre rushed a National Investigation Agency (NIA) team to Udaipur to probe the killing. The investigators are also probing a larger conspiracy, with possible involvement of people based abroad.

A week before the tailor’s murder, a chemist, Umesh Kolhe (54), in Maharashtra’s Amravati district was killed for his social media posts backing Nupur Sharma’s remarks.

(Except for the headline and the pictorial description, this story has not been edited by THE DEN staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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