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PTI

A special court on Friday sent seven accused, arrested in connection with the killing of an Amravati pharmacist last month, to 14-day judicial custody after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) did not seek their further remand.

The pharmacist, Umesh Kolhe, had allegedly shared social media posts backing former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma, whose objectionable remarks on Prophet Mohammad had triggered a huge controversy.

Kolhe (54) was stabbed to death in Amravati city of eastern Maharashtra on the night of June 21 when he was returning home after closing his shop, apparently over his posts backing Sharma.

The anti-terror agency, which took over the probe into the case from the Amravati police, produced the accused before the in-charge NIA court in Mumbai at the end of their remand period.

On Friday, the NIA didn't press for their further remand, following which the court sent the accused to jail under 14-day judicial custody.

Earlier, the central agency had told the court the case was of very serious nature and had national as well as international ramifications.

There was "incremental substance" against the accused to show they were involved in terrorist activities, the NIA had told the court.

The Amravati police, which probed the case initially, had claimed Kolhe was killed for sharing a post supporting Sharma over her controversial remarks made in May during a TV debate.

After the murder, a case was registered on June 22 at a police station in Amravati. The NIA re-registered the case on July 2 after taking over the investigation.
 

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