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Umesh Kolhe murder case: NIA announces Rs 2 lakh reward for details on absconding accused Shaheem Ahmed

Umesh Kolhe was murdered by Islamists on June 21 for extending his support to beleaguered politician Nupur Sharma, who drew the ire of Muslim fundamentalists after Alt News co-founder painted a target behind her for defending her faith in a news debate.

On Monday, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) investigating into the murder case of pharmacist Umesh Kolhe declared monetary reward of Rs 2 lakh to anyone who would provide leading information to arrest the absconding accused. The NIA has already arrested 10 accused in the case and is now looking for accused Shaheem Ahmed who is absconding at present.

According to the reports, Shaheem Ahmed is a resident of Zakir Colony in Amravati and is absconding since he has been identified as an accused in the case. “The NIA has declared a cash reward of Rs 2 lakh for any kind of information leading to the arrest of Ahmed (22)”, the NIA official was quoted as saying.

The investigation into Umesh Kolhe’s murder began in Police Station City Kotvali in Amaravati, Maharashtra. On July 2 this year, the NIA re-registered the case and took over the investigation. The case has been registered under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) Sections 16, 18, and 20 and the Indian Penal Code (IPC) Sections 34, 153 (A), 153 (B), 120 (B), and 302.

Earlier in August, the NIA arrested two more accused in the case. The duo was identified as 23-year-old Abdul Arbaz and 41-year-Maulavi Mushfique Ahmad. Both Arbaz and Ahmad are residents of Amaravati. The NIA informed that the duo went to a biriyani party, shortly after killing Umesh Kolhe, and how the incident was a reflection of their conduct.

Accused Shaheem Ahmed who is absconding (Image source- One India)

The other arrested accused in the case include Irfan Khan (age 35), Yusuf Khan (age 44), Muddsir Ahmad (age 22), Shahrukh Pathan (age 25), Abdul Thoufique (age 24) Shoaib Khan (age 22), and Atib Rashid (age 22). Umesh Kolhe, 54, was stabbed to death on June 21 this year for purportedly sending a post supporting the former spokesperson of Bharatiya Janata Party Nupur Sharma on a social messaging platform.

As per what is known about the case so far, Umesh Kolhe’s friend Yusuf Khan had spotted Kolhe’s WhatsApp message supporting Nupur Sharma and had circulated it in other WhatsApp groups. He had also informed about it to Sheikh Irfan Khan, who runs an NGO. Irfan Khan then plotted the murder and entrusted the responsibility of recce to Maulana Mudassir Ahmed alias Sonu Raza Sheikh Ibrahim. After that, Irfan Khan engaged four daily wage workers Shahrukh Pathan, Abdul Taufiq, Shoaib Khan, and Atib Rashid, who had worked for his NGO earlier, for the execution of his plan.

On the night of June 21, Shoaib stabbed Umesh Kolhe in his neck. Initially, the police had said that it was a case of robbery gone awry, but after there was a change in the government in Maharashtra, the police admitted that Kolhe was killed for supporting Nupur Sharma.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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