Three Surat men held for plotting Kamlesh Tiwari’s murder
The deceased was one of the appellants in the Ayodhya suit.Updated: Oct 20, 2019 00:04 IST
The UP police on Saturday arrested three youths from Surat (Gujarat) and questioned two clerics from UP’s Bijnor in connection with the murder of Hindu Samaj Party founder Kamlesh Tiwari, said UP DGP OP Singh.
The deceased was one of the appellants in the Ayodhya suit.
The murder of 52-year-old Tiwari was a fall out of “communal hate” and should be termed as “radicalised killing”, he said. However, the DGP ruled out any terror link with the incident.
The arrests came less than 24 hours of the murder of Tiwari, who was killed inside his house around 1pm on Friday by two unidentified men in Lucknow’s Khursheed Bagh locality on Friday afternoon.
“The UP police, with the help of Gujarat’s ATS, traced the conspirators through the bills of sweets purchased from a shop in Surat,” Singh said while addressing a press conference at UP police headquarters in Lucknow.
“Five people from Surat were involved in the murder. Three conspirators have been arrested while efforts are on to nab two others who executed the killing,” he added.
The three arrested men were identified as Maulana Mohsin Sheikh, 24, a worker at a saree shop; Faizan Yunus, 21, shoe shop worker, and tailor Rashid Ahmad alias Khurshid Pathan, 23.
Singh said Maulana Sheikh Salim radicalised the other four men by showing a video of Kamlesh Tiwari’s hate speech against Muslims in 2015.
Rashid hatched the murder plan while Faizan was the person who purchased sweets from the Surat shop, according to Singh. Faizan was spotted in the footage from the CCTV of the sweet shop, he added.
The same box was used by the two assailants to carry weapons to kill Kamlesh Tiwari.
The police’s initial investigation into Tiwari’s murder hinted that the two attackers had links with Gujarat, as they had brought weapons in a box of a famous sweet shop in Surat. A pistol, which was recovered from the crime spot, and a knife used to slit the victim’s throat were in the same box, suggested initial probe.
The two assailants, whose names had not been revealed yet, live in Surat but have links in UP.
The two clerics from Bijnor named by Kamlesh Tiwari’s wife Kiran in her police complaint were also questioned, the senior police official said. But their involvement had not been established so far, he added.
Kiran Tiwari had said in her complaint to the police that Mohd Mufti Naeem Kazmi and Imam Maulana Anwar-ul-Haq were involved in her husband’s murder.
These clerics had announced a bounty of Rs 51 lakh for beheading Kamlesh Tiwari, after his hate speech in 2015.
“We are working in collaboration with the Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS). So far, no link with any terrorist outfit has been established. We will look into all details and take action,” he said.
The state government constituted a three-member special investigation team (SIT) to investigate Tiwari’s murder.
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath also sought a detailed report on the incident from additional chief secretary (home) Awanish Awasthi and DGP OP Singh.
After initial reluctance, the family of Kamlesh Tiwari cremated his body at his native place in Mahmoodabad, Sitapur on Saturday after state authorities and district administration assured to fulfill all their demands (for job for kin and compensation). Moreover, the authorities confirmed their meeting with chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday evening, after he returns from Maharashtra.
ABOUT KAMLESH TIWARI
Tiwari was associated with the Hindu Mahasabha in the past, but he quit the organisation and formed Hindu Samaj Party in January 2017.
The victim also operated a local news group ‘Rashtravadi Dharamsatta’.
In 2011, Tiwari had filed a civil petition in the Supreme Court challenging the Allahabad high court’s decision to trifurcate the disputed site at the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid in Ayodhya,” said Vishnu Shankar Jain, Supreme Court lawyer, who had appeared on behalf of Tiwari. “The petition was admitted and it was heard by the court,” added Jain.
“Kamlesh Tiwari had visited Ayodhya to express solidarity with the Ram Mandir movement,” said Sharad Sharma, regional spokesperson, VHP.