Hundreds of police were deployed and mobile internet was cut in an Indian city on Wednesday following the alleged murder of a Hindu tailor by two Muslim men.
Western India’s Udaipur was placed under partial curfew to guard against potential sectarian violence after a video purporting to show the attempted beheading went viral.
Mobile internet access was also cut in other parts of Rajasthan state, and local authorities issued a month-long order banning four or more people from gathering anywhere in the state.
The dead man’s funeral was due to be held later in the day.
The victim was reportedly a tailor who shared a social media post supporting recent comments about the Islamic Prophet Mohammed by a spokeswoman for India’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The remarks by Nupur Sharma at a TV debate in late May sparked protests that turned violent in some parts of India and demonstrations across the Islamic world.
In the video purporting to show the alleged murder, the two men can be seen brandishing large knives and threatening to kill Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as Sharma.
“Both the accused in the killing have been arrested and we will ensure strict punishment and speedy justice,” said Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot.
Gehlot appealed to people to not share the video as it would “serve the attackers’ motive of creating discord in society.”
Sharma was sacked by the BJP after her comments, which saw the governments of nearly 20 countries summoning their Indian envoys for an explanation.
The row followed anger across the Muslim world in 2020 after French President Emmanuel Macron defended the right of a satirical magazine to publish caricatures of the prophet.
Images of the prophet are strictly forbidden in Sunni Islam. French teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded in October 2020 by a Chechen refugee after showing the cartoons to his class in a lesson on free speech.