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New Delhi: Police on Saturday arrested the mastermind behind the murder of Umesh Prahladrao Kolhe, the 54-year-old chemist who was stabbed to death allegedly over a social media post in support of suspended BJP politician Nupur Sharma, news agency ANI reported. According to Nilima Araj, Police Inspector, City Kotwali police station, Amravati, mastermind Shaikh Irfan Shaikh Rahim was arrested in Nagpur on Saturday evening.

With the arrest of Irfan Rahim, the total number of arrests in the case is seven. The six other arrested have been identified as Mudassir Ahmad (22), Shah Rukh Pathan (25), Abdul Thoufique (24), Shoaib Khan (22), Atib Rashid (22) and Yusufkan Bahadur Khan (44), ANI reported.

Earlier in the day, the deceased’s brother said that Kolhe never flagged any threat to his life and they are unable to understand why he was killed.

“He didn’t receive threats from anyone… We were told that during primary investigation, 2-4 people were arrested but some newspapers, without proper investigation started publishing that he was killed because of loot or robbery, but nothing as such happened,” Umesh’s brother Mahesh Kolhe said.

He added, “We’re yet to ascertain the reasons for his murder. He never told us about any threats… he only forwarded some messages on Nupur Sharma…”

According to reports, the incident took place between 10 pm and 10.30 pm on June 21, when Kolhe was riding his two-wheeler home after shutting his business, a police official said, adding that his son Sanket (27) and wife Vaishnavi were accompanying him in another car.

“When all of them reached near Mahila College’s gate, two motorcycle-borne men came from behind and blocked Kolhe’s path. A youth alighted from the motorcycle and stabbed Kolhe on his neck with a sharp weapon and escaped from the spot. Kolhe collapsed on the road in a pool of blood. Sanket rushed him to a hospital, where he died,” news agency PTI quoted the official as saying.

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