Lucknow: A joint team of Uttar Pradesh Police, Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terror Squad and Gujarat Police on Saturday detained three persons from Surat in the brutal daylight murder of former Hindu Mahasabha chief Kamlesh Tiwari at his office in Lucknow.
Addressing a press conference here, Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) O.P. Singh said, "A joint team of UP and Gujarat Police has detained Maulana Mohsin Sheikh, Faizan and Khurshid Ahmed Pathan and is interrogating them."
Singh said the police initially detained five persons from Surat, but two were released later. "Their activities are being monitored," said Singh.
Meanwhile, the case has again taken a new turn after Tiwari's mother accused BJP leader Shiv Kumar Gupta of her son's murder. Tiwari was a native of Mahmudabad area of Sitapur district in Lucknow.
According to News18, when questioned about who she thought was responsible for Tiwari's murder, she said, “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.”
According to Gujarat Police sources, the attackers wearing saffron clothes, had walked into Tiwari's office in Khurshid Bagh on Friday on the pretext of handing over a box of sweets. Inside the office, the assailants opened the box, took out a gun and sprayed bullets at Tiwari and fled. Tiwari was rushed to the hospital but could not be saved.
On Friday, the Uttar Pradesh police had said that the murder was “purely criminal” in nature and committed by two persons who seemed to have been known to Tiwari as they had sat down for a cup of tea before stabbing him to death.
Lucknow Special Superintendent of Police (SSP) Kalanidhi Naithani said, "The two persons had come to visit Tiwari and interacted with him for about half an hour on the first floor of his house in the Naka area. Apparently after having tea, the duo attacked Tiwari and left the place. He was then rushed to the hospital where he was declared dead. Various police teams have been deployed to nab the culprits and details about the two individuals are being looked into. All the points are being investigated and the culprits will be nabbed soon. As per preliminary information, it seems the two men were known to Tiwari.”
Tiwari, a former Hindu Mahasabha chief, had in January 2017 formed the Hindu Samaj Party and was known for making controversial remarks. In 2015, he was arrested and the National Security Act (NSA) was slapped on him after he made some controversial statement about Prophet Muhammad. Recently, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court revoked the NSA against him.
"In the initial interrogation, no criminal background has been established of the three detained. If needed, we will take them into remand, and bring them to UP for questioning," said the DGP.
He said, "In the FIR, two people -- Maulana Anwarul Haq and Mufti Naeem Qazmi -- were named as conspirators. These two have also been detained and they are being questioned."
Asked if the murder had any links with terrorist organisations, Singh said: "So far no link with any terrorist organisation has been established. We are looking into all the angles."
To a question over the reason behind Tiwari's murder, Singh said, "Prima facie, these people were radicalised by the speech that he (Tiwari) gave in 2015, but much more can come out when we catch hold of the remaining criminals."
Singh also denied that there were any security lapses on part of the UP Police. "He (Tiwari) was given a gunner and a policeman, both were there with him. There was no laxity on the part of the police administration," he said.