Three persons have been detained in Gujarat while two Muslim clerics from Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh booked for conspiracy in connection with the murder of saffron leader Kamlesh Tiwari, police said on Saturday.
In a joint operation, the Gujarat and U.P. police detained five persons in Surat but let off two after questioning them, the police said.
The three detained suspects were identified as Maulana Mohsin Sheikh Salim (24), who works in a sari shop; Faizan (21), who works in a shoe store; and Rashid Ahmed Pathan alias Khurshid Ahmed (23), a tailor who also has knowledge of computers.
At a press conference in Lucknow, DGP O.P. Singh said that as per preliminary investigation, the three were found to be involved in the conspiracy of the murder. “We don’t know their criminal history yet. They could be brought to U.P. on remand for further questioning.”
Bijnor clerics Maulana Mohammad Mufti Naeem Kazmi and Imam Maulana Anwarul Haq, who had ‘announced’ a bounty of ₹1.5 crore for ‘beheading’ Tiwari for his alleged controversial comments on Prophet Muhammad in 2015, were booked for conspiracy in the murder. They were being questioned, he said.
The clerics were named in the police complaint by the victim’s wife, Kiran Tiwari.
Mr. Singh said there were two other persons, including the main accused, about whom the police were trying to gather information. There was no terror outfit angle in the case. Pathan “made the initial plan,” while Salim acted as a “propeller.” Salim had given a statement saying it was fair to murder Tiwari for his controversial comments.
Box of sweets
Faizan is accused of purchasing the box of sweets recovered from the house of Tiwari after his murder. The two who killed him had come to his house in the Naka area of Lukcnow with the box.
The two people let off by the police after questioning are Pathan’s brother and Gaurav Tiwari from Surat, who a few days ago called up Kamlesh Tiwari, offering to join his outfit, the Hindu Samaj Party, and run its local unit in the Gujarat city. However, there was no conclusive evidence of what was discussed, the DGP said.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said the murder was a “mischief done to create terror.” “Any elements spreading an atmosphere of fear and terror, [we] will wrongly crush their plans.” The guilty in the murder case won’t be spared.
He also hinted that he was willing to meet the family of the victim.
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