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Cleric Arrested In Surat For Conspiracy To Kill Nupur Sharma, BJP MLA

Maulvi Sohel Abubakr Timol, the accused, allegedly collaborated with individuals from Pakistan and Nepal to threaten prominent figures, including Sudarshan TV's chief editor, BJP's Telangana MLA Raja Singh, and the party's former spokesperson Nupur Sharma.

Edited By : Aniket Raj | Updated: May 5, 2024 11:53 IST
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Nupur Sharma
Nupur Sharma

A 27-year-old man was apprehended in Surat, Gujarat, on Friday, reportedly for planning to assassinate BJP officials and a leader affiliated with a right-wing group. According to Surat senior police official Anupam Singh Gehlot, Maulvi Sohel Abubakr Timol, the accused, allegedly collaborated with individuals from Pakistan and Nepal to threaten Sudarshan TV channel’s chief editor, BJP’s Telangana MLA Raja Singh, and the party’s former spokesperson Nupur Sharma.

Gehlot further mentioned that Abubakr Timol was employed as a manager at a thread factory and also provided private Islamic instruction to Muslim children.

Authorities received intelligence regarding an individual operating a WhatsApp group, disseminating content aimed at inflaming religious sentiments and inciting communal unrest during elections. Acting on this information, the police initiated an investigation into the matter.

Gehlot stated that Timol’s mobile conversations indicated a conspiracy involving individuals from Pakistan and Nepal to offer a contract of Rs 1 crore for assassination, as well as to acquire weapons from Pakistan. The primary target was identified as Upadesh Rana, the national president of Hindu Sanatan Sangh.

Gehlot revealed that subsequent to Timol’s apprehension, numerous objectionable materials were discovered on his mobile devices, including discussions regarding the Rs 1 crore offer for the assassination of Updesh Rana. He added that Timol maintained continuous communication with individuals and numbers from Pakistan and Nepal in relation to this matter.

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He mentioned that photos and other information retrieved from Timol’s phone indicated discussions among him and his associates on a secure application about targeting and intimidating Sudarshan TV’s Editor-in-Chief Suresh Chavhanke, political figure Nupur Sharma, and Hyderabad MLA Raja Singh. He elaborated that they were strategizing to gather funds and acquire weapons for this purpose.

A senior police official stated that chat records revealed Timol’s intention to disrupt communal harmony during the ongoing general elections. The official added that Surat police were collaborating with other agencies to ascertain whether there were additional targets planned by Timol and his associates.

Initial investigations unveiled that Timol had been in communication with two individuals identified as Dogar and Shehnaz, whose phone numbers were traced to Pakistan and Nepal, respectively.

About a year and a half ago, the accused was contacted by the two individuals via social media, using phone numbers originating from Pakistan and Nepal. They allegedly incited the accused by asserting that Hindu organizations in India had mocked the Prophet, suggesting a need for corrective action.

Police stated that on the chat application, Timol composed speeches denouncing Hinduism and issued threats to Rana, implying that he would meet the same fate as Kamlesh Tiwari. Additionally, a member of his chat group allegedly forwarded a photo of Rana along with a Rs 1 crore offer for his assassination.

Kamlesh Tiwari, who served as the president of the Hindu Samaj Party in Uttar Pradesh, was tragically murdered on October 18, 2019, in Lucknow.

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First published on: May 05, 2024 11:53 AM IST

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