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Surat Police has arrested a Muslim cleric (or Maulvi) on Saturday for allegedly planning to kill the leader of a Hindu organisation, a senior police official said.

The accused has been booked under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 153 (A) (indulge in wanton vilification or attacks upon the religion, race), 467, 468 and 471 (related to forging of documents or electronic record) and section 120 (B) for criminal conspiracy, as well as the Information Technology Act, the official said.

“Police investigation revealed that the 27-year-old accused is a Maulvi and teaches in a madrasa. The accused was in contact with a person named Dongar from Pakistan and a person named Sehnaz from Nepal for the last 2 years. Both the accused from Pakistan and Nepal had instigated the accused Maulvi that the Prophet was being defamed continuously by Hindu organizations in India,” a police official said.

Commissioner of Police, Surat, Anupam Singh Gehlot, while speaking to ANI said that the accused was found to be conspiring with people from Pakistan and Nepal to offer ? 1 crore ‘supari’ (contract for killing) and procure weapons from Pakistan to kill the leader of an Hindu organization.

“Surat City Crime Branch had received information that a person’s movement was anti-national and therefore he was under watch. He was detained in the Chowk Bazar area of Surat and his mobile was checked. He was chatting with the people from Pakistan and Nepal. His plan was to first target the leader of a Hindu organization,” he said.

Mr Gehlot further said that the accused was also provided with a SIM card in Laos by his handlers from Pakistan and Nepal.

“The accused used social media to spread communal animosity, to upload photos of the national flag of India and make lewd comments in posts or videos about Hinduism. He created a false electronic record and ordered arms from foreign handlers,” a release said.

The arrested accused was in contact with holders of WhatsApp numbers with codes of different countries like Pakistan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Laos, the release added.