Kamlesh Tiwari murder: 3 detained in Gujarat, 2 others booked in U.P.

Three persons were detained in Gujarat while two other Muslim clerics from Bijnor were booked for conspiracy in connection with the murder of controversial saffron leader Kamlesh Tiwari, police said on Saturday.

In a joint operation, the Gujarat and U.P. police detained five persons in Surat but two were let off after questioning, 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, who is a tailor and also has knowledge of computers.

At a press conference in Lucknow, U.P. DGP O.P. Singh said that as per preliminary investigation, the three persons were found to be involved in the conspiracy of the murder.

“We don’t know their criminal history yet,” Mr. Singh said, and added they could be brought to U.P. on remand for further questioning.

Conspiracy in the murder
The DGP also said two clerics from Bijnor who had announced a bounty of ₹1.5 crore for beheading Kamlesh Tiwari for his controversial comments on Prophet Muhammad in 2015 were booked for conspiracy in the murder. Identified as Maulana Mohammad Mufti Naeem Kazmi and Imam Maulana Anwarul Haq, the two were also detained and being questioned, Mr. Singh said.

The two clerics were named in the police complaint by the victim’s wife, Kiran Tiwari. There are two other persons, the main accused, about whom the U.P. police is still trying to gather information, Mr. Singh said.

The DGP further said there was no terror outfit angle in the case so far but the matter was still being investigated.

Mr. Singh said Pathan “made the initial plan,” while Salim acted as a “propeller.” Salim had given a statement saying it was fair to murder Tiwari after his controversial comments in 2015, the DGP said.

Faizan is accused of purchasing the box of sweets recovered from the house of Tiwari after his murder. The two assailants who killed him had come to his house in the Naka area of Lukcnow with a box of sweets.

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 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.