Tensions have remained high in the city of Udaipur in western India, after law enforcement officials arrested a pair of Muslim men in the killing of a Hindu tailor and subsequently took into custody additional suspects referred to as “the two masterminds” of the violence, as the U.K. Guardian reports.
The specific trouble began on Tuesday, when 48-year-old Kanhaiya Lai was murdered after reportedly sharing a social media post in support of government spokespeople who made remarks viewed by some Muslims as disparaging to the Prophet Muhammad and his wife, as NBC News noted.
Shortly after the brutal attack on Lai occurred, the two men now accused of the murder posted video online of the gruesome incident and made additional threats to those they accused of anti-Muslim blasphemy, doing so while brandishing bloody knives used in the killing.
The assailants themselves were arrested soon after the murder took place, but on Saturday, senior police officials revealed that they had also nabbed two Muslim men from Rajasthan they believe actually planned the murder.
Lai’s killing and its aftermath represent the latest dramatic episode in a nation that is increasingly split along religious lines, particularly between Hindus and Muslims, as NBC News explained.
According to the Guardian, there were reports recently in local Indian media describing a similar incident in late June involving the death of another man who was stabbed for voicing support for the same remarks that led to the tailor’s murder.
Though five individuals have been arrested in that attack, a search continues for the prime suspect in the case, according to regional police authorities.
The animosity stemming from the remarks viewed by Muslims as blasphemous also spread to Afghanistan, as evidenced by an attack on a Sikh temple that left at least two dead and seven injured, an incident for which the Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility.
It remains to be seen whether cooler heads will prevail and the tensions between the groups will be allowed to ease, but as of now, talk of a possible social and economic boycott by influential Hindus in Udaipur seems to signal that detente – at least in one affected region – may continue to prove elusive.