Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra on Sunday said that the murder of a chemist in the state's Amravati city, allegedly for defending former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma's comment about Prophet Muhammad, was "very serious".
"The Amravati incident is very serious. The cruelty with which he was killed is shocking. The accused have been caught, the mastermind is caught, and the NIA (National Investigation Agency) is also investigating. There is an attempt to find out if there is an external, foreign force that wants to create tension in the country," he said.
The BJP leader also hinted that any initial lapses in the investigation - an accusation made by the party's local leaders - would be looked into.
"Initially, it was said to be a robbery. We will find out whether that indeed how it had appeared," Mr Fadnavis said.
In the 12 days since the killing, the police had arrested six people, but had not linked it to Nupur Sharma's comment until Saturday. They did so amid mounting pressure from the local BJP unit.
Amravati MP Navneet Rana today accused the city commissioner of suppressing Umesh Kolhe's murder.
"We wrote a letter to Union HM Amit Shah, and he took action by sending NIA. After 12 days, Amravati Commissioner of Police came in front of the media and said that the case is similar to the Udaipur murder and is related to content posted about Nupur Sharma," she said.
"After 12 days, she's clarifying the incident. She first said that it was a robbery and tried to suppress the case. An enquiry must also be done against Amravati Commissioner of Police," Ms Rana added.
Umesh Kolhe, 54, was attacked by two men on a motorcycle, who slit his throat, on June 21 in Maharashtra's Amravati city. The murder took place a week before a similar killing in Udaipur.
The case was transferred to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) by Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday.