The killers of tailor Kanhaiya Lal Teli were linked to the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), said Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Sunday. Kanhaiya Lal was butchered at his shop by two men in Udaipur on June 28 last year, and his murder sent shockwaves across the country.
The Rajasthan CM alleged that the accused behind Kanhaiya Lal's murder were arrested by police in another case days before his murder and BJP leaders came to the police station to release them.
"The culprits have links to the BJP. Days before the incident, the police had arrested these accused in some other case and some BJP leaders visited the police station to get them released," news agency ANI quoted Gehlot as saying.
The Congress leader also alleged that the BJP was trying to spark communal tension ahead of the November 25 assembly elections in Rajasthan.
Gehlot's remarks came following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's earlier remark that Congress sympathises with terrorists. He had made the remark during an election rally near Udaipur on Thursday while referring to tailor Kanhaiya Lal's brutal killing.
"The murder of Kanhaiya Lal ji is a big stain on the state government. Such a heinous incident happened in Udaipur because there is a Congress government which sympathizes with terrorists," Modi had said.
In response to PM Modi's remarks, Gehlot on Sunday said, "The thing is that BJP has sensed defeat in the elections and are, hence, coming up with bizarre claims. They are not speaking a word about the schemes that we launched and the laws we brought. They just want to stir up trouble ahead of the elections."
Talking about the investigation into Kanhaiya Lal's murder, Gehlot said that the Special Operations Group (SOG) of the Rajasthan Police could have handled it better than the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
He said that the probe would have moved to a "logical conclusion" had the SOG been on the case, instead of the NIA. He said the NIA took up the case on the day of the incident and the state government did not raise any objection.
"No one knows what action the NIA has taken. If our SOG had pursued the case, the culprits would have been brought to justice by now," CM Gehlot said.
"It was an unfortunate incident and I cancelled my scheduled events and left for Udaipur as soon as I learned of it. However, several top leaders of the BJP chose to attend an event in Hyderabad even after learning of the Udaipur incident," Gehlot told reporters in Jodhpur.
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