Zafar Afaq | Caravan Daily
LUCKNOW-Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat police arrested five persons in connection with the murder of Kamlesh Tiwari, leader of a little-known right-wing outfit Bharat Hindu Samaj.
Those arrested from Surat city of Gujarat have been identified as Maulana Mohsin Sheikh, Faizan and Rasheed Ahmad Pathan. The other two Mohammed Mufti Naeem Qazmi and Imam Maulana Anuwarual Haq, were held from Bijnor in western UP.
Tiwari was murdered on Friday afternoon at his residence in Lucknow, the capital city of Uttar Pradesh. He was one of the appellants in the Babri Masjid case.
Late in the evening, according to reports in the Times of India, one more person was arrested in connection with the case from Nagpur city in Maharashtra state.
According to the police, Tiwari’s murder was a revenge against the defamatory comments he had made about Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him (PBUH), in 2015. The two clerics arrested from Bijnor had issued a death threat against Tiwari and placed a bounty of over Rs 10 million on his head. Kiran Tiwari, wife of the deceased named the two clerics in the complaint she recorded before police.
The police have ruled out connection of the suspects with any known terror outfits.
While speaking to media in Lucknow, UP Police chief O P Singh said that the suspect, Rasheed Ahmad, is the mastermind of the plot. He said Faizan has been arrested in connection with the purchase of a box of sweets in Gujarat.
The police have been able to get hold of the weapon used in the crime.
However, on Friday, shortly after the murder, a top UP Police official told media persons that personal enmity was the reason behind Tiwari’s killing.
A CCTV camera installed outside his residence has captured the movement of the three suspects donning saffron clothes. They are still at large, and the police has not yet revealed whether their identity has been ascertained.
Reportedly, Tiwari’s murderers had spent nearly half-an-hour with him and had a conversation during which they were served tea and cigarettes by the hosts. The assailants killed him in a gruesome manner slitting his throat and pumping bullets into his body.
Despite the presence of a security personnel of UP Police guarding his residence, the assailants were able to carry a pistol inside a box of sweets and also managed to escape without hassles.
Meanwhile, a video of Tiwar’s mother has gone viral on the social media in which she holds certain Shiv Kumar of Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) responsible for the murder of her son.
Tiwari’s son is also not satisfied with the investigation so far and has demanded a probe by NIA, India’s top Federal Investigation agency, into the matter.
“We don’t know whether those arrested are murderers of my father or are innocent,” he said.
An old video of Kamlesh Tiwari has gone viral in which he named Sangh and BJP saying, “Even if these people hatch conspiracies against me and are after me day and night, I have sympathy for them and fight for them because I fight for Hindus.”
The initial investigation and subsequent arrests have raised more questions than they answer. Only when the chargesheet is filed and the case reaches the court, we will be in a position to get a clearer picture.