The Special NIA Court on Thursday remanded seven men to NIA custody till July 15 in connection with the murder of a chemist from Amravati, Umesh Kolhe (54), allegedly killed for circulating a WhatsApp post supporting the controversial comments made by BJP's Nupur Sharma against Prophet Mohammed.
Special Judge AK Lahoti refused entry to the media at the NIA counsel's request.
The seven accused are Muddasar Ahmad (22), Shahrukh Pathan (25), Abdul Taufiq (24) Shoaib Khan (22), Atib Rashid (22) and Yusuf Khan (32) and alleged mastermind Shaikh Irfan Shaikh Rahim.
The NIA counsel Sandeep Sadavarte began his submissions in the absence of the accused, with defence lawyers waiting outside. He sought their custody for 15 days.
Advocate Sharif Shaikh, who has represented several terror accused in the past submitted that no offence under section 16 of the NIA Act was made out against the accused. Another accused was represented by Advocate Ali Kashiff Khan.
According to a report Kolhe was murdered on June 21 between 10pm to 10.30pm when he was returning home on his scooter from the chemist. Kolhe's son Sanket (27) and Sanket's wife Vaishnavi were travelling on another scooter, according to the police.
Sanket, who is the complainant in the case, told the police that as they were proceeding, two men on a bike suddenly came in front of Kolhe's scooter, one of them with a knife in his hand.
"They stopped my father's bike and one of them stabbed my father on his neck with the knife. My father fell on the ground and he was bleeding from his neck. I stopped my scooter and started screaming for help. Another man came and the three sat on the bike and fled from the spot," he said.
Kolhe was rushed to a nearby hospital by died during treatment. While the cases was initially being investigated by the local police, the case was eventually transferred to the NIA.