The Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Tuesday night arrested the two main suspects who were absconding in Uttar Pradesh's controversial saffron leader Kamlesh Tiwari's murder case. They have been identified by ATS as Ashfaq J Shaikh (34) and Moinuddin K Pathan (27) were caught from Shamlaji on Gujarat-Rajasthan border.
In a statement released by ATS, it was stated that these accused "were absconding after committing gruesome murder of Kamlesh Tiwari in Lucknow on 18/10/2019. Both the named accused persons are resident of Surat and once the money they had taken with them had finished, They approached their family members and acquaintances for further finances."
"Technical surveillance and physical surveillance was mounted by ATS Gujarat on relatives and acquaintances of the absconders. On the basis of actionable intelligence obtained through the said surveillance, ATS Gujarat has successfully apprehended them from Gujarat-Rajasthan border near Shamlaji," the statement said.
Deputy Inspector General of Police, ATS, Himanshu Shukla, who led the arrest team, told reporters that "Now that we have apprehended the two main accused involved in the murder of Kamlesh Tiwari all the other aspects of the case will be solved. We are going to hand over them to the UP police which are investigating the case."
He said that primary investigation revealed that suspects killed Tiwari as a "retribution to purported statements." In 2015, Tiwari had provoked Muslims by insulting Prophet Mohammed in a speech. Sources said that because of this statements and anti-Muslim speeches, Tiwari, who floated Hindu Samaj Party (HSP), was a potential target. The video of his speech was also mentioned in a case of two Surat youths who wanted to ISIS-inspired lone-wolf attacks on synagogues in 2017.
ATS officials said that Shaikh and Pathan killed Tiwari and fled towards Nepal and from there they reached Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh. Shaikh works as a medical representative while Pathan was working as a food delivery boy in Surat. They purchased sweet from Dharti Sweets in Surat and went to Lucknow. Police said that Shaikh forged identity of his colleague Rohit Solanki, also a medical representative, and Moinuddin became Sanjay.
Police said that they had planned it from nearly six months. They created fake Facebook accounts and through a person identified as Jaimin Dave, who is Gujarat HSP leader, they got in touch with Kamlesh Tiwari. Subsequently, they sought his appointment and went to meet Tiwari. They took a train from Udhana station in Surat. After reaching Lucknow they wore saffron kurta and hid a knife and pistol in the sweet box.
"After killing Tiwari, the duo didn't even remove the receipt of sweet purchase. They didn't hide the saffron kurta or the knife. They just ran away. We are trying to find if there is any organisation or a particular group behind their motivation," said an officer. He added that after killing Tiwari, the duo posted a photo of him on social media platform "Telegram" where they said that "We at Al-Hind Brigade claim responsibility for killing the guy Kamlesh Tiwari who tried to defame Islam and Muslims. More to come..."
Earlier on Saturday, ATS arrested Maulana Mohsin Shaikh, Faizan and Rashid Pathan in a joint operation with UP police. Rashid is brother of Moinuddin. Rashid and Moinuddin are brothers.