Mobile internet services and large gatherings in the western Indian city of Udaipur remained restricted on Wednesday amid high tensions following the killing of a Hindu tailor.
Police said they arrested two Muslim men who had claimed responsibility for the killing.
Authorities in the state of Rajasthan, where Udaipur is, also shut down the internet — a common tool used by the Indian government in the face of tensions — and restricted gatherings after the gruesome video of the attack was posted online. A curfew has been imposed in some areas of the district.
The slain tailor had reportedly expressed support online for a former official of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over remarks about the Prophet Muhammad.
A BJP official recently sparked a furor in the Islamic world over televised comments on the relationship between the prophet and his youngest wife.
According to local media, the tailor had received death threats for his online support of the BJP when assailants came to his shop posing as customers. The video shows the tailor taking measurements of one man, who then slit his throat with a large knife.
In another video, two machete-wielding bearded men said they killed the Hindu tailor, warning Prime Minister Narendra Modi of a similar fate.
“Both the accused in the killing have been arrested and we will ensure strict punishment and speedy justice,” Ashok Gehlot, chief minister of Rajasthan, said on Twitter.
Appealing for calm, Gehlot asked people not to share the video as it would “serve the attackers’ motive of creating discord in society.”
Fears of tensions boiling over
Experts said the Udaipur incident could have national consequences in the Hindu-majority country.
“What has happened today in Udaipur may trigger serious communal riots,” said Shesh Paul Vaid, a former senior police official.
“The government of Rajasthan needs to act under the law most urgently and punish the duo perpetrators, otherwise it will be a failure of the law and order machinery,” Vaid said.
Several politicians, including opposition leaders Rahul Gandhi, Shashi Tharoor, and Arvind Kejriwal, have condemned the incident.
Modi’s government has long been criticized for its treatment of minorities in the country.
see/fb (Reuters, AFP)