Hindu Leader Kamlesh Tiwari Killed Over Objectionable Comments in 2015, 3 Held from Gujarat: UP Police

Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh Police on Saturday claimed to have cracked the murder case of Hindu leader Kamlesh Tiwari within 24 hours of the crime with the detention of three people. The police said the conspiracy to kill Tiwari was hatched in Surat as the suspects were upset with the derogatory remarks made by the leader against Prophet Mohammad in 2015.

The Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) has nabbed three persons from Surat in connection with Tiwari's murder, officials said on Saturday.

The ATS sleuths nabbed Mohsin Sheikh, Faizan and Rashid Ahmed from Surat on Friday night on the basis of CCTV footage from a shop from where they had brought sweets that were found at the scene of the crime, they said. The trio was brought to Ahmedabad and arrested. They will be handed over to the Uttar Pradesh Police, they added.

Two of those detained by the UP Police, identified as Bijnor residents Mohammed Mufti Naeem Kazmi and Imam Maulana Anwarul Haq, were booked on the charge of murder on Friday after Tiwari's wife named them in her complaint to police here.

Tiwari's wife, Kiran, had alleged that both had announced a cash reward of Rs 1.5 crore on her husband's head in 2016. "They have killed my husband by hatching a conspiracy," she had alleged.

Addressing a press conference in Lucknow, UP Director General of Police OP Singh said, “I reached the crime spot on Friday, along with other senior officials. We found some vital clues and were sure we would crack the case within 24 hours. A ‘mithai’ (sweets) box was found on the spot, which carried the name of a sweet shop in Surat. We then got in touch with Gujarat Police and the Anti-Terror Squad (ATS). Three suspects have been detained and are being interrogated. One suspect works at a saree shop, another is a tailor while the third suspect works at a store.”

“Two more people who have been named in the FIR have also been detained in Moradabad and are being investigated," he added.

Singh said prime facie the investigation reveals that the detained were upset over the derogatory comments made by Tiwari in 2015. "We will be putting the facts together and some more investigation is needed to come to any conclusion in this case. There are no links to any terror organisation at the moment but investigation is going on,” he said.

Responding to a question on the claim by Tiwari’s mother that local BJP leader Shiv Kumar Gupta was behind the murder, Singh said he had no information about this.

The DGP said two more persons — Rashid's brother and Gaurav Tiwari — were also questioned but let off after investigation. "Gaurav had called Kamlesh a few days ago, expressing his desire to work for the Hindu Samaj Party in Surat and other places," he said.

In a twist to the case, Tiwari’s mother had said on Saturday: “It is Shiv Kumar Gupta, a leader of Bharatiya Janata Party. Nobody asked me anything in Lucknow, all I was asked is what I want. To this I replied that I just want the dead body of my son. I will not spare anyone even if I get killed for it. I requested the police to call Gupta and question him but my request was not heeded to. Shiv Kumar Gupta lives in Thatheri and is a mafia who has over 500 cases against him. He had taken over as the president of local temple and killed my son over a dispute regarding construction of the structure.”

Earlier, Tiwari's wife had blamed two ‘maulanas’ from Bijnor for his death. The 'maulanas' had announced a bounty on Tiwari's head for his alleged derogatory remarks against Prophet Mohammad in 2015. Tiwari's wife said the two had conspired to kill the leader of the little-known Hindu Samaj Party who was also a former leader of the Hindu Mahasabha.

The DGP also claimed that there was no laxity on the part of police and administration as adequate security was provided to Kamlesh Tiwari.

Kamlesh Tiwari, 43, was killed at his residence in the Naka neighbourhood of Lucknow on Friday. His throat was cut and he was shot multiple times and died while being taken to a hospital.

Late on Friday night, UP's Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi said that a special investigation team had been constituted to probe the incident. "The team comprises Lucknow Inspector General SK Bhagat, Superintendent of Police (Crime) Dinesh Puri, and Deputy Superintendent of Police (STF) PK Mishra," Awasthi said.

(With inputs from PTI)