Investigation into the savage Udaipur murder has revealed links of the two self-radicalized murderers with Karachi-based Sunni Islamist organisation Dawat-e-Islami, which has links with Barelvi pan-Islamic Tehreek-e-Labbaik extremist organization in Pakistan, according to people familiar with the investigation.
On Tuesday, 38-year-old Bhilwara resident Riyaz Attari and 39-year-old Udaipur resident Ghous Mohammed beheaded tailor Kanhaiya Lal with knives for supporting former BJP leader Nupur Sharma's remarks on Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). Attari is a welder who had crafted the knives, much before the Prophet's remarks controversy, for butchery.
The two accused were arrested by the Rajasthan Police at Rajsamand, while on their way to shoot another video at the Ajmer Sharif shrine after hacking the tailor to death in Udaipur for supporting alleged blasphemy. The two Islamists had already distributed the murder video within their WhatsApp group, which became viral in a matter of minutes after the dastardly crime. In the murder video, the two highly radicalized Islamists even threatened Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Interrogation of the two accused revealed that the two belonged to Sufi-Barelvi sect of Sunni Islam and had close links with Dawat-e-Islami in Karachi. While the two were self-radicalized, efforts are being made to find out whether they had any links with other extremist Sunni organizations in India including those with links with Muslim Brotherhood, according to counter-terror officials. The two have been booked under the UAPA and the case is now being handed over to National Investigation Agency (NIA).
Karachi-based Dawat-e-Islami's aim is to spread the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah with the objective of advocating Shariah globally. It has a huge following in Pakistan and is committed to supporting the blasphemy law in the Islamic Republic.
The savage Udaipur murder has sent alarm bells within the internal security establishment as rising Islamic radicalization in India is evident from the crime with neighborhood countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh not being able to control the rise of political Islam in the Indian sub-continent.
While the government has decided to take a hard stance on rising radicalization in the country, it also believes in strengthening the hands of the Muslim moderates who do not take the law into their hands. The Home Ministry is also taking a hard look at the Udaipur crime to find out whether the accused had any links with the extremist Popular Front of India (PFI) movement. The once Kerala-based PFI has risen rapidly in India and is now spread all over the country in the name of the Sunni revivalist movement.