Posted on July 2, 2022

Indian State Shuts Down Internet After Hindu Beheading Sparks Unrest

Rupaim Jain, Reuters, June 30, 2022

Fearing outbreaks of religious violence after two Muslims killed a Hindu tailor and posted the footage online, police in the Indian state of Rajasthan have banned public gatherings and shut down the internet.

Two suspects were being interrogated by federal investigators in the city of Udaipur on Wednesday, while state police were on guard against any unrest in the north-western state, following large protests across the country.

“We are under strict orders to prevent any form of protests or demonstrations scheduled to condemn the murder,” said Hawa Singh Ghumaria, a senior police officer in Rajasthan, adding that the crime had sent “shockwaves through the country”.

Brandishing a meat cleaver, two bearded men claimed responsibility for the murder in a video where they said they were avenging an insult to Prophet Mohammad by the victim. One went on to threaten Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying their blade would find him too.

The assailants also alluded to Nupur Sharma, a former spokeswoman for the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), whose offensive remarks about the Prophet earlier this month triggered domestic and international outrage, as well as violent protests within India.

Home Minister Amit Shah said in a tweet that federal police had taken over the investigation into “the brutal murder” of tailor Kanhaiya Lal Teli. {snip}

Authorities have urged calm and asked media not to broadcast the “grisly” footage of the murder.


Late on Wednesday, a spokesperson from Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry rejected reports in some Indian media that linked the suspects to a Pakistan-based organisation.

According to Bhawarlal Thoda, a city administrator in Udaipur, the tailor had told police he’d been threatened after making a social media post in support of Sharma’s controversial comments.


Hardline Hindu organisations held protests in the capital New Delhi to condemn the killing of Teli and more protests were planned on Thursday.


Authorities said they had suspended internet services in parts of Rajasthan to stop the circulation of the killers’ video, and asked social media platforms to immediately remove any content that encourages, glorifies or justifies the killing in order “to prevent any incitement and disruption of public order and to restore public peace and harmony”.