The National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe found that a spokesperson of Hindu Munnani, a Hindu organization, was killed by the members of the Popular Front of India (PFI) to create terror among a particular section of people.
C Sasikumar, the spokesperson of the Tamil Nadu-based organisation, was brutally killed on September 22, 2016, while he was returning home on a scooter.
The NIA probe also found that the accused in the case were active members of PFI, who conspired to strike terror in a particular section of people and also create panic amongst them and the public at large by brutally murdering Sasikumar.
“Sasikumar was chosen as a symbolic target as he was a rising star in his organization. Being spokesperson of Hindu Munnani, he used to interact with higher functionaries of Hindu organisations,” the NIA probe found.
The NIA probe also found that Sasikumar was a public figure, being the key person facilitating the installation of Ganesh idols in Coimbatore and surrounding places during Ganesh Chaturthi by getting permission from the district authorities.
“Investigation also revealed that one year before the murder of Sasikumar, there was an incident wherein one SDPI (political front of PFI) flag post in Coimbatore by SDPI was taken down on September 23, 2015, following the protest of local Hindu groups, including Hindu Munnani leaders, in which Sasikumar played a pivotal role,” the NIA probe said.
According to the NIA probe, PFI members chose to hack Sasikumar in front of the Chakra Vinayaka (Lord Ganesh) Temple just 400 metres away from his house because he was an ardent believer in Lord Ganesh.
“And this was to create terror among a particular section of people by portraying that they can pick and choose to murder anybody, even in front of their places of worship and near their homes. The date of the murder was also chosen to coincide with the date of the removal of the SDPI flag post one year earlier,” the NIA said.
The NIA said that accused Sadham Hussain, Subair, Mubarak and Mohammed Rafiqul Hassan came on two motorcycles and without any provocation, Mubarak, the pillion rider on one of the motorcycles, kicked the Activa scooter on which Sasikumar was travelling with his left leg.
The NIA probe had revealed that Sasikumar fell on the road along with the scooter, then Subair, the pillion rider of the other motorcycle, and Mubarak hacked him many times with lethal weapons (Aruval/Billhook) resulting in fatal injuries to the head, neck and shoulder and hand.
The NIA probe also found that all the accused persons and all cadets of PFI held criminal conspiracy meetings in the house of Mubarak and also in the parking areas of CTC Mosque and Sai Baba colony to commit the terror act.
The NIA probe also found that Sasikumar and the accused were neither known to each other nor had any conflict of interests. The accused, all PFI activists, came and hacked him to death without any provocation to create psychological fear among Hindus, it added.
The investigation of SID CB CID, Coimbatore and NIA has established that brutally murdering prominent members of Hindu Munnani by hacking was part of their “violent extremist” ideology. The NIA said in its charge sheet that this was undertaken with the larger objective of creating terror in the minds of a section of the Indian population belonging to other religious faiths.
“By orchestrating an incident like this, which was systematic and deliberate, they wanted to send a message of violent retaliation against those who speak or act against Islam or their interests as per their extremist ideology,” it added.
The NIA is probing 19 cases related to PFI, and the agency has gotten convictions for 46 people. The anti-terror probe agency has also filed a charge sheet against 355 accused.