In a joint operation by Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat Police, three people were arrested and two others questioned in connection with the murder of Hindu outfit leader Kamlesh Tiwari.
Uttar Pradesh DGP, OP Singh and Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) DIG Himanshu Shukla said that during the initial interrogation, three of the accused have accepted that they were involved in the murder of the saffron leader and that the trio is linked to the case in some manner.
The accused arrested in Gujarat have been identified as Maulana Mohsin Sheikh (24) Rasheed Ahmed Pathan (23) and Faizan (21).
DGP OP Singh said that the murder of 52-year-old Kamlesh Tiwari, the founder of the Hindu Samaj Party, was a fallout of “communal hate”.
“Prima facie this was a radical killing, these people were radicalized by the speech that Tiwari had given in 2015. As per the information that we have received, it seems it was done in a planned manner.”
Two other suspects in the case are on the run, according to the police.
“A total of five people were involved in the murder. Three conspirators have been arrested while efforts are to search two others, who executed the killing,” Singh told reporters.
UP DGP OP Singh said that the assailants brought sweets and spent over half an hour with Kamlesh Tiwari before shooting him dead.
“UP police traced the conspirators through the bill of sweets purchased from a sweet shop in Surat with the help of Gujarat’s anti-terror squad,” Singh said.
According to Singh, Rasheed hatched the murder plan while Faizan was the person who purchased sweets from the Surat shop. Faizan was spotted on the CCTV footage at the sweet shop.
Reportedly, the same sweet box was used to carry the weapons — a pistol and a knife — to kill Kamlesh Tiwari.
DGP OP Singh also said that there was no laxity on the part of the police administration in providing protection to the former Hindi Mahasabha leader. All security arrangements were made. Kamlesh Tiwari was given a gunner and a policeman, both of whom were with him.
The police are monitoring Gujarat, Bijnor, Lucknow and other places for the other accused in the murder case.
Meanwhile, the Lucknow Police has registered an FIR on the complaint of Tiwari’s wife against two Maulanas from Bijnor. She has said in her complaint that these two had threatened to kill her husband in 2016.
Tiwari’s wife, Kiran Tiwari, had on Friday night, demanded Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath meet the family and threatened self-immolation if her husband’s killers were not brought to account.
“I will commit self-immolation right at this place along with my children,” she was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Former leader of the Hindu Mahasabha Kamlesh Tiwari was shot dead and his throat slit in broad daylight in Lucknow on Friday.
The attackers wearing saffron clothes, on the pretext of handing over a box of sweets, walked into Tiwari’s office in Khurshid Bagh area. Soon after walking in, they took out the firearm and shot Tiwari.
Tiwari had earlier made highly controversial remarks involving Prophet Muhammad. He was arrested and the National Security Act (NSA) was slapped on him. Later the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court revoked the NSA against him.
This is the fourth murder of a right-wing leader this month. BJP leaders Chaudhary Yashpal Singh, Kabir Tiwari and Dhara Singh were killed on October 8, October 10 and October 13 respectively.