Surat Man Arrested for Alleged Murder Plot and Threats Against Hindu Leader, BJP Members

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Surat Man Arrested for Alleged Murder Plot and Threats Against Hindu Leader, BJP Members

| Updated: May 4, 2024 20:47

Surat police arrested a man on Saturday for allegedly planning to assassinate the leader of a Hindu organisation and threatening several prominent figures, including the chief editor of Sudarshan television channel, BJP’s Telangana MLA Raja Singh and the party’s former spokesperson Nupur Sharma. The accused is believed to have been working in collusion with handlers from Pakistan and Nepal.

The accused, identified as Maulvi Sohel Abubakr Timol (27), was employed as a manager at a thread factory and also provided private Islamic tuition to Muslim children. Surat Police Commissioner Anupam Singh Gehlot revealed that Timol was conspiring with individuals from Pakistan and Nepal to offer a ‘supari’ (contract for killing) of Rs 1 crore and procure weapons from Pakistan to assassinate Upadesh Rana, the national president of Hindu Sanatan Sangh.

Gehlot stated, “Post his detention, we discovered several objectionable contents in his mobile phones, including one regarding offering Rs 1 crore for the murder of Updesh Rana. He was in continuous touch with persons/numbers from Pakistan and Nepal for this purpose.”

The accused was also found to have issued threats to Rana in March this year using a virtual number from Laos, connecting numbers from Pakistan and Nepal in his group call. Gehlot added, “They were discussing on a secure app about targeting and threatening Sudarshan TV’s editor-in-chief Suresh Chavhanke, political leader Nupur Sharma and Hyderabad MLA Raja Singh. They were planning to collect funds and procure weapons for this purpose.”

The individuals involved are highly radicalised and had discussed murdering Hindutva leaders, including Kamlesh Tiwari, the Uttar Pradesh-based president of the Hindu Samaj Party who was killed in Lucknow on October 18, 2019.

Chat records revealed that Timol intended to kill Rana soon to disrupt communal harmony during the ongoing general elections. Surat police are seeking assistance from other agencies to determine if they had more targets in mind.

Preliminary interrogation revealed that Timol was approached by two individuals, Dogar and Shehnaz, with phone numbers from Pakistan and Nepal, respectively. They contacted the accused via social media around a year and a half ago, claiming that the Nabi had been mocked by Hindu organisations in India and needed to be “straightened out.”

Timol received an international SIM number from Laos to conceal his identity and activated a business number on social media, which he used to issue threats to Rana. He wrote speeches against Hinduism on the chat app and threatened Rana with murder, similar to Kamlesh Tiwari’s fate.

The accused used social media to spread communal animosity, upload photos of the Indian national flag and make derogatory comments about Hinduism in posts or videos. He created a false electronic record and ordered arms from foreign handlers.

The arrested accused was in contact with Whatsapp numbers from various countries, including Pakistan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Kazakhstan and Laos. He has been booked under several sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Information Technology Act.

Also Read: Terrorist Attack on Indian Air Force Convoy in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch District

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