In a major breakthrough, two men allegedly killed Hindu outfit leader Kamlesh Tiwari were arrested by Gujarat's Anti-terrorism Squad.
The two key accused, identified as Ashfaq Shaikh and Moinuddin Pathan, who were on run after the killing, have been caught from the Rajasthan border. Both are residents of Surat.
Officially informed about the arrest, Gujarat ATS DIG Himanshu Shukla said : "The two wanted accused, Ashfaq (34) and Moinuddin Pathan (27), have been arrested from Gujarat-Rajasthan border near Shamlaji. Gujarat ATS had input that they are going to enter Gujarat. On that basis we moved our team to the border and apprehended them".
The two accused have confessed to killing Kamlesh Tiwari. According to police, the accused committed the murder after Kamlesh Tiwari commented on Prophet Mohammed.
Their mobile signals helped the police to identify the location of the culprits. They were nabbed when they were on way to their families as they had run out of cash. The two accused had run off to Nepal, but they had to return to India after they ran out of money. They contacted friends and relatives, who were under surveillance. The police were able to track their location and catch them at the Gujarat-Rajasthan border.
With this, the total number of arrests has gone up to six. Earlier in the case, three accused Maulana Mohsin Shaikh, Faizan Member and Rashid Pathan were arrested in a joint operation by Gujarat ATS and UP Police. Acourt on Tuesday sent the three accused to four days judicial custody. Another accused in the case, Sayyed Asim Ali was arrested by Maharashtra ATS from Nagpur on Monday.
The duo will be handed over to the Uttar Pradesh police probing the killing of Tiwari, who headed a little known outfit, Hindu Samaj Party (HSP).
While Shaikh, a resident of the Limbayat area in Surat, used to work as a medical representative, Pathan, a resident of Umarwada, was employed as a food delivery boy, the release said.
The police, on Sunday, said it had recovered a bloodstained knife allegedly used to kill Tiwari from a hotel room where the duo had stayed in Lucknow.
The police had said the conspiracy to kill Tiwari was hatched in Surat as the suspects were upset with the derogatory remarks made by him against Prophet Mohammad in 2015. The suspects were "radicalised" and appeared to have targeted Tiwari for his inflammatory remarks made in 2015, the police said.
The Surat link came to light after the UP police found a box of sweets, bearing the logo of Dharti Sweets located in the Udhna area of the diamond city, from Tiwari's house, where he was gunned down by assailants.
Sources in the Surat police revealed a team of the UP police landed in the south Gujarat city and visited the sweet shop to get some more clues from CCTV footage. The UP team also visited Limbayat and Navsari Bazar areas to question people who know the accused arrested from Surat, the sources said.