Gujarat family rejects murder charge, says sons innocent
The family of a 21-year-old man arrested on Saturday in connection with Hindu Samaj Party founder Kamlesh Tiwari’s murder has said that the former worked in Dubai and had returned home in Gujarat’s Surat for his brother’s wedding next month.
Rashid Pathan, the 21-year-old, was among the three men arrested from Surat for their alleged involvement in Tiwari’s killing in Lucknow on Friday. His brother, Moinuddin Pathan, 23, is absconding and is believed to be one of the two assailants who stabbed Tiwari to death, according to the Gujarat police.
The Uttar Pradesh police said on Saturday that five people, including the three from Surat, were involved in the murder and that a search was underway for the other two who executed the killing.
“Rashid is a computer engineer working in Dubai. He is my youngest son. He came home only two months ago to prepare for his brother Sayeed’s wedding. He is innocent. He has been framed. I never even heard them talking about any Kamlesh Tiwari,” Rashid Pathan’s father, Khurshid Pathan, told HT over phone.
Khurshid Pathan, who lives with his wife, Shereen, in Surat’s middle-class Zillani Park locality, said that Sayeed was getting married in November. He added that they initially had no idea why Rashid Pathan was arrested and why Moinuddin Pathan is missing. “They [Gujarat’s Anti-Terror Squad] came with another boy and left with Rashid,” said Shereen, referring to Faizan Yunus, the other accused arrested in the case from Surat.
“It was only through media that we came to know that Rashid has been taken away in connection with some murder.”
Shereen hoped that her son would be released before Sayeed’s wedding. “When he has committed no crime, then why would they keep him in jail?’’ asked Shereen. “The atmosphere of joy and happiness has turned into gloom just before the wedding.”
Shereen maintained that they have no knowledge about Moinuddin Pathan’s whereabouts. “[He] left for Chandigarh with a neighbour to appear for an interview on October 16. Since then, he has not been in touch with us. His phone is out of reach.”
Khurshid Pathan referred to Tiwari’s 2015 hate speech and said that he tried to find out what the Hindu leader had actually said after his son’s arrest. “Our family had no idea about this Hindu leader.’’
The Uttar Pradesh police on Saturday said that Tiwari’s hate speech was used to radicalise his assailants.