A day after his arest, a magisterial court granted eight days remand of cleric Maulvi Qamar Gani Usmani (40) to the Gujarat Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS), on Monday. He had been arrested in connection with the recent murder of Kishan Boliya alias Kishan Bharwad in Dhandhuka, Ahmedabad.
Apart from Usmani the ATS was also given eight days remand for another accused Azeem Sama (38) from Rajkot. The two men were arrested on January 30, and will be in police remand till February 7. According to a report in Indian Express, the ATS also “submitted that it will investigate if the two accused are affiliated with any Islamic fundamentalist organization or banned anti-India terrorist groups.”
Thirty-year-old Kishan Boliya alias Kishan Bharwad, was shot dead allegedly by two bike-borne men in Dhandhuka on January 25. Police revealed that Bharwad was killed allegedly after an objectionable social media video was posted by him. The video reportedly showed images of Jesus as “son of god,” Prophet Mohammed as “messenger of god” and then goes on to say “your father is here” and shows various images of Krishna titled “I am god”.
Those arrested in the case so far include two clerics — Maulvi Qamar Gani Usmani and Maulana Mohammad Ayyub Javarawala — and Sabbir Chopda, Imtiyaz Pathan and Azeem Sama. Police told the media, “It was Sabbir and Imtiyaz who allegedly shot at Bharwad,” and “The weapon was allegedly provided by Javarwala and Sama.” Usmani is accused by police of allegedly instigating the shooters. According to IE, Usmani was also arrested in November 2021, by the Tripura police under section 13 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for advocating, abetting, inciting any unlawful activity. The IE quoted a source in the ATS saying, “The main shooter Sabbir contacted Usmani on Instagram and then he was invited to Delhi by the latter.”
According to the report the ATS’ remand application stated that it would probe “Sama’s involvement in supplying arms given his “prior arrest under Arms Act” and also look into his prior criminal antecedents since he is facing charges of murder, offences punishable under the Arms Act, and Prohibition Act in almost a dozen offences in multiple police stations of Rajkot, and has been arrested under provisions of the Prevention of Anti-Social Activities (PASA) act in the past. The ATS has termed him “hardened criminal.”
Usmani, who runs an organisation named Tahreek Farooghe Islam in Delhi, was arrested for “inciting the people of Panisagar in Tripura in November 2021 and was subsequently released on bail,” stated the ATS in its remand application. The IE quoted its Gujarat ATS source saying, ”Usmani himself visited several cities- Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot and Vadodara- of Gujarat for the next six months wherein he tried to build a base for his organisation by reaching out to youth. Even in the past, Usmani has been vocal about harsh punishment in blasphemy cases.”