Uttar Pradesh police on Saturday claimed to have cracked the Hindu Mahasabha leader Kamlesh Tiwari's murder arresting three persons from Gujarat and two Muslim clerics from Bijnore district in the state and attributed Tiwari's killing to the latter's objectionable remarks on Prophet Mohammed in 2015.
The family members of the slain Hindu leader, however, held a BJP leader, identified as Shiv Kumar Gupta, responsible for the killing and demanded his immediate arrest.
UP police chief O.P.Singh told reporters here that Maulana Sheikh Saleem, Faizan and Rashid Pathan were arrested from Surat by Gujarat police while two others were arrested from Bijnore in connection with the murder.
He said that 21-year old Faizan, who lived in Surat and worked at a shoe factory, was the key conspirator. ''It was Faizan, who bought the sweet box from a confectionery shop in Surat and hatched the conspiracy to kill Tiwari,'' the DGP said. Tiwari's killers carried a box of sweet in which they had hidden a pistol and knife.
''Preliminary probe indicates that Tiwari was killed for his objectionable remarks......so far no terrorist connection has been found,'' he said adding that the killers might have ''local connection'' also. ''We are trying to find out about it,'' he said.
Kamlesh Tiwari's mother, however, added a new twist to the case, when she claimed that a BJP leader from Sitapur district, about 90 kilometres from here, was behind the killing.
''You (police) can arrest any one you like and hang them also but I know that Shiv Kumar Gupta (a local BJP leader) has killed my son,'' the grieving mother said.
According to the sources there was a dispute between Tiwari and Gupta over ownership of a temple at Mehmoodabad area in Sitapur district and the matter was currently pending in the court.
Tiwari was shot dead at latter's office in the state capital of Lucknow on Friday. According to the police two youths, who were clad in saffron, opened fire at Tiwari at his office at Khursheed Bagh locality in the city killing him on the spot. The youths had entered Tiwari's office on the pretext of offering him sweets.
Tiwari had been known for his controversial remarks. He had been arrested earlier for his making objectionable remarks on Prophet Mohammed. The National Security Act (NSA) was slapped on him.