Self-proclaimed working president of Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha (ABHM) Kamlesh Tiwari was allegedly found murdered inside his house in Lucknow on Friday.
The police said injury marks were found around Tiwari's neck and added that the incident was a fallout of personal dispute. Tiwari was one of the appellants in the Supreme Court in the Ayodhya title suit case.
Angered over his death, a group of people staged protest following which many shops in Fatehganj and Aminabad area were closed down. Security forces have been deployed in the area to avoid any clash. The postmortem of the body is yet to be done.
Tiwari's associate Swatantradeep Singh said two persons came to his house to meet him around 11.00 am. Tiwari had asked him to come to the first floor of the house, Singh said. "One of the assailants asked me to bring a cigarette from him. Hence, I went to the market. But when I returned to the room I saw Kamlesh was lying dead in the room," he added. Singh further said he immediately informed the police upon seeing it.
Inspector General, Lucknow Range, SK Bhagat said, assailants were known to Tiwari because they stayed with him in the house for around half an hour. Police have recovered a pistol and a empty cartridge from the house. He said injury marks were found around Tiwari's neck but they were waiting for postmortem report to reach any conclusion.
In 2015, Tiwari made headlines when he allegedly made objectionable remarks against Prophet Muhammad, which had created huge uproar and resulted in massive protests by Muslims across the country. He had also posted inflammatory comments on Facebook while reacting to protests by Muslims on his statement.
An FIR was lodged against Tiwari under IPC Sections 153-A (promoting enmity between groups on ground of religion and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs). He was subsequently arrested with the police invoking the National Security Act (NSA) against him.
In 2016, the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court had quashed NSA against him.
A native of Sitapur, Tiwari had also contested 2012 assembly election from Central Lucknow on the ticket of ABHM and lost.