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Amravati murder: Umesh Kolhe helped ‘friend’ Dr. Yusuf Khan at the time of his sister’s wedding and his children’s admissions, Khan instigated his murderers

Maharashtra's Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has said that police role in the Umesh Kolhe will be probed as the police had initially concealed the Nupur Sharma angle and claimed it was a robbery gone wrong

As the investigations in the Umesh Kolhe murder case in Amravati of Maharashtra have achieved major progress with the seven accused including the mastermind, more details about the case have come forward. It is revealed in the police investigation that Dr. Yusuf Khan, the eldest of the arrested accused instigated all the murderers for this murder.

Dr. Yusuf Khan was a good friend of Umesh Kolhe who had helped him many times. Dr. Yusuf Khan was the admin of the WhatsApp group in which Umesh Kolhe had shared a post supporting former Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Nupur Sharma, which led to his murder.

Umesh Kolhe’s murderers were all closely related, as several of them worked with an NGO run by the key conspirator Sheikh Irfan, who has been identified as the mastermind behind the crime.

Umesh Kolhe’s friend Dr. Yusuf Khan was the instigator

Veterinary doctor Yusuf Khan and chemist Umesh Kolhe knew each other for the past several years, and they were good friends. Yusuf Khan often sought help from Umesh Kolhe who seldom disappointed his friend. He used to lend money to Yusuf Khan in hours of need. Umesh Kolhe had helped Dr. Yusuf Khan at the time of his sister’s wedding and his children’s admissions too. Despite such good relations, Dr. Yusuf Khan conspired to kill Umesh Kolhe.

Dr. Yusuf Khan is the eldest among the arrested accused. He was supposed to keep a watch on viral messages on social media and identify the targets. He was the admin of the group called Black Freedom in which Umesh Kolhe had shared a post supporting Nupur Sharma. Dr Yusuf Khan shared this information with another group called Rahebariya and informed his friends Sheikh Irrfan and others, and created hatred in their minds for Umesh Kolhe.

Sheikh Irrfan planned the attack

After Dr Yusuf Khan spread hatred against Umesh Kolhe, Sheikh Irfan came into action. He planned the murder. He gave the responsibility of recce to Maulana Mudassir Ahmed alias Sonu Raza Sheikh Ibrahim. After this, Sheikh Irfan involved daily wage workers in this plan. They included Shahrukh Pathan (age 25), Abdul Taufiq (age 24), Shoaib Khan alias Bhurya (age 22), and Atib Rashid (age 22). On the night of June 21, Shoaib stabbed Umesh Kolhe in his neck. None of these four criminals has any past criminal record.

Irfan resides in the Pathan Chowk chawl in the Kamela Area. His neighbours said that he was a welder but the epidemic caused problems for his welding business. Irfan runs a registered NGO called Rahebar that worked for differently-abled according to its Facebook page. The four daily wage workers he chose to execute the murder had previously volunteered for this NGO.

Radicalized conspirator executed the murder

According to a report by the Indian Express, Sheikh Irfan’s neighbours said that he had became “extremely religious” recently and took up social activities about seven years ago. Additionally, he is alleged to have backed the anti-CAA demonstrations. Irfan, a school dropout, lived with his mother, younger brother, wife, two boys, one of whom is differently-abled, and a daughter. His residence has been locked for about a week.

A police source said, “I knew him well. He would come to the police station with public issues. He has a petty assault case against him; he was also detained for questioning when he helped his friend to elope with a girl from another community.”

Killers were no different than the conspirator

According to local sources, the arrested accused Muddassir Shaikh and Abdul Taufiq Taslim were also ‘very religious’. A source said, “Abdul was short-tempered. A few years ago, he went to the Nagpuri Gate police station in the middle of the night, demanding that an FIR be registered against a Facebook post for hurting religious sentiments. After the chemist’s murder, he bragged to others that he had killed the man who insulted the Prophet. Police got their first lead from this.”

The CCTV footage reveals recce

After the murder, when the police started the investigation, they got some CCTV footage before the incident. In the video, three accused dressed in black are seen doing recce of the place. In another footage, the three accused are seen heading toward the spot to execute the murder.

The post-mortem report

The postmortem report of Amravati chemist Umesh Kolhe has been received. According to the report, his brain vein was damaged due to the knife attack. Besides, his breathing tube, oesophagus, and nerves of his eyes were also damaged in this attack. The wound found on Umesh’s neck was five inches wide, seven inches long and five inches deep.

The police had made misleading claims

The police are also under question in the Amravati murder case. The police are accused of deliberately describing the hate crime as a robbery killing and concealing that the reason for the murder was posts in support of Nupur Sharma, while the Maharashtra ATS was already investigating the case from the terror angle. Police had claimed that it was robbery case gone wrong, as the accused had killed Kolhe after he refused to give them anything. But this claim was questioned by many, including Maharashtra BJP leaders, because the accused have no past crime records, and they didn’t take anything from Kolhe after attacking him. Umesh Kolhe was carrying around Rs 3000s cash and had his phone with him, which were found at the crime scene.

Considering the seriousness of the matter, Union Home Minister Amit Shah handed over the case to the NIA and the team reached Amravati and lodged an FIR. Mudassir Ahmed, Shah Rukh Pathan, Abdul Taufiq, Shoaib Khan, Atib Rashid, Yusuf Khan and Sheikh Irrfan and others have been named as accused in the FIR.

About the misleading by police in the Umesh Kolhe murder case, Maharashtra’s Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said, “Amravati incident very serious, killing is barbaric. Accused, mastermind nabbed. NIA investigating it, finding if there is some international connection. This was initially portrayed as theft, that too will be investigated.”

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