Barbaric, brutal, terrible, gruesome, horrifying, cold-blooded, uncivilized, anti-Islamic,  open case of hate crime, et al. This is how the leaders of Muslim organisations as well as political parties severely condemned the murder of Kanhaiya Lal of Udaipur on June 28, demanding exemplary punishment for the accused.

On June 28, 40-year-old Lal, a tailor in Udaipur, Rajasthan, who had shown support to now-sacked BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma, was brutally murdered. In the afternoon, the accused arrived at Lal’s tailoring shop. Lal was attacked by one  of the attackers, who was later identified as Riyaz, who used a sharp-edged weapon while the other man recorded the murder on his mobile phone. The two attackers have been arrested, and further investigations have been launched.

Nearly three weeks before he was hacked to death, Lal was arrested on an FIR lodged against him for allegedly hurting religious feelings – and, following his release on bail, had sought police protection citing death threats.

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) condemned the murder of Lal, saying that “taking law into your own hands is highly condemnable, regrettable and un-Islamic”.

In a media statement, Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani, General Secretary AIMPLB, said, “It is a grave crime to defame and slander any religious personality. The derogatory words spoken by (former) BJP spokesperson, Nupur Sharma against Prophet Muhammad ﷺ are very painful for the Muslim community. The inaction of the government against this crime is nothing but rubbing salt into our wounds. But in spite of this, nobody can be allowed to take the law into their own hands and declaring someone a criminal and then murdering him is a highly condemnable act.”

He further stated, “Neither the law nor the Islamic Shari’ah allow it.” The Board also appealed to the Muslim community to act patiently and not to take law into their own hands and not indulge in any such action that might disturb the communal harmony and social cohesion of the country.

“In this matter, the Board has not only been consistently appealing to the Muslim community to be patient and take recourse to only legal avenues but has also been appealing to the government that this issue is very sentimental for Muslims and therefore the government must enact a law against blasphemy for the religious personalities of all religions,” said the AIMPLB statement.

Maulana Khalil-ur-Rehman Sajjad Nomani Nadvi of AIMPLB also said, “Udaipur murder is an un-Islamic and barbaric act based upon absolute ignorance and stupidity.”

Mr. Navaid Hamid, President All-India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, condemned the beheading and demanded harshest punishment as per law. “The gruesome beheading in Udaipur is anti-Islamic and an open case of hate crime. Prophet Muhammad SAWS had never harmed anybody in his entire life. Those pretending to indulge in crime  because of Prophet’s love are criminals and need harshest punishment as per law,” he said.

Condemning the murder, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) Vice President, Prof Salim Engineer, said: “We condemn the barbaric and uncivilized murder of Kanhaiya Lal of Udaipur. There is no room for justification for such violence in Islam. Those found guilty of his murder should be punished according to the law of the land. The government must stop mischief-makers from taking advantage of this incident to create social unrest. Peace and law and order should be maintained at all costs.

“The statements being issued by some political leaders show their immaturity and their ugly intention to play the vote bank politics. The incident reflects the growing tendency of people to take the law into their hands. This trend is dangerous for our society and should be curbed. People lose faith in the police and judiciary if they either do not get justice or they feel prejudiced. Unfortunately, the political environment of our country is encouraging aggression and hatred and reducing empathy and tolerance. It is time for all peace and justice-loving citizens of our country to join hands and fight against hatred and violence”.

Both the Arshad Madani and Mahmood Madani factions of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind (JUH) condemned the incident and called it “un-Islamic”.

Maulana Arshad Madani said, “We had opposed mob-lynching in many places, we also consider this an inhumane act… The Udaipur incident is a very tragic, un-Islamic and inhumane act, it is highly condemnable.”

“Just as we oppose this incident, we are strongly opposing insulting the dignity of any religious figure. We once again demand the government to immediately arrest those who have insulted the Prophet and punish them severely according to the law so that no one will dare to do so again in the future,” he said.

Maulana Hakeemuddin Qasmi, JUH General Secretary, also condemned the incident of brutal killing in Udaipur apparently on the pretext of the insult to the Prophet ﷺ and called it against the law of land and against the religion of Islam.”

Maulana Khalid Rasheed Farangi Mahali, General Secretary of Islamic Centre of India, said: “We condemn the Udaipur incident in strongest words and there is no place for such acts in a civilized society. The Prophet of Islam has always given the message of love, peace and brotherhood. The Prophet forgave even the biggest of his enemies. I would like to appeal to everyone to maintain peace and brotherhood. Those who have committed such a heinous crime should be given strict punishment.”​

APCR (Association for the Protection of Civil Rights) General Secretary, Malik Motasim Khan expressed his grave shock and anguish over Lal’s terrible murder. “It is quite depressing to witness how our Indian society has been overtaken by a tide of violence and hostility, casting a shadow over our long-lived peace and togetherness. Violence in our society is fuelled by frequent mob lynchings, targeted killings, extrajudicial executions, dowry deaths, mass murders, etc. and… a society that normalises a culture of impunity for violence can only dash people’s aspirations for justice,” Mr. Khan said.

AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi said every violence has to be condemned and that “radicalisation has to be controlled” in the country.

“I cannot sit here comfortably and condemn what has happened in Udaipur to that poor tailor but at the same time what has happened in Rajasthan a few years ago or in Jaipur everything has to be condemned. Radicalisation has to be controlled. That is why I have demanded that anti-radicalisation cell in the MHA should be for every religion not only for one particular religion to monitor radicalisation that is happening in our country,” he added.

Delhi Jama Masjid Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari called the killing an “act of cowardice” and “an act against Islam”. Islam is a religion of “peace and tranquillity,” he said, adding that the “heart-breaking, heinous murder committed in Udaipur has shaken the humanity”.

“Islam is a religion of peace and tranquillity. The life of the Prophet of Allah is full of numerous examples of compassion, tolerance, generosity and humanitarianism,” Bukhari said.

Markazi Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadees Hind President Maulana Asghar Ali Imam Mahdi Salfi, also condemned the killing and has asked the government to ensure that strictest punishment is given to the accused.

More and more leaders are condemning this cold-blooded murder. Likewise, political leaders cutting across party lines also condemned this heinous murder.

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