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Kamlesh Tiwari murder: Five persons in custody in UP and Gujarat

Tiwari, earlier associated with a faction of the Hindu Mahasabha, was killed on Friday

By The Telegraph and PTI in Lucknow and New Delhi
  • Published 19.10.19, 1:21 PM
  • Updated 19.10.19, 1:23 PM
  • a min read
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Local newspapers had carried the news of the fatwa, issued after Tiwari had made provocative remarks about a religious figure, for which he was arrested under the National Security Act. PTI

Five persons, including three in Surat, have been taken into custody in connection with the killing of Kamlesh Tiwari, the president of a little-known Hindu Samaj Party, police said on Saturday.

The two persons taken into custody in Uttar Pradesh were identified by police chief O.P. Singh as Mohammed Mufti Naeem Kazmi and Imam Maulana Anwarul Haq. These names were given out in a news conference.

In Surat, the police have taken into custody in Surat Mohsin Sheikh, Faizan and Rashid Ahmed. "So far there is no terror angle associated with this incident," Singh said.

The Uttar Pradesh police and their Gujarat counterparts were interrogating the persons, the DGP said.

Tiwari (45), earlier associated with a faction of the Hindu Mahasabha, was killed at his home in Khurshed Bagh on Friday.

"Prime facie, it seems that Tiwari was murdered because of his controversial statement made in 2015. There is a possibility," Singh said.

An FIR had been registered against three persons in connection with the killing.

Tiwari’s Hindu Samaj Party and his wife Kiran have alleged the killers were “Muslim extremists” but state police chief Singh had said: “Our primary investigation suggests the (killers) were very well known to Tiwari.”

Officers said Kiran had blamed the murder on a fatwa issued by two western Uttar Pradesh clerics in 2016 announcing a reward of Rs 1.5 crore for anyone who would behead Tiwari.

Local newspapers had carried the news of the fatwa, issued after Tiwari had made provocative remarks about a religious figure, for which he was arrested under the National Security Act.

UP police chief Singh had cited security-camera footage to say the two visitors had “sat with Tiwari for about 36 minutes and discussed something with him over cups of tea”. “One of them then pulled out a revolver and shot him. They then stabbed him repeatedly and ran away.”