Convicted for ‘derogatory remarks’ against the Prophet Muhammad:
Earlier this year in October, the leader of Hindu Mahasabha, Kamlesh Tiwari, was murdered outside his house in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh in broad daylight. His residence is located in Khurshed Bagh under the Naka Hindola police station. The Allahabad High Court previously convicted him for making derogatory remarks against Prophet Muhammad, which had created widespread controversy and protests in India. He was convicted in the said case under the National Security Act. In 2016, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court quashed the NSA imposed on him, as per a report of the Indian Express.
Though majorly identified as the leader of Hindu Mahasabha, some groups have also identified him to be with the Hindu Saamaj Party, a Hindu party found two years ago in 2017. A team of some ten policemen of the Uttar Pradesh Police has been constituted to investigate into the merits of the killing case. The evidence which is on record till now is primarily the footage of CCTV cameras in the areas.
Kamlesh was also involved in the ongoing Ayodhya title dispute, recently in which the Supreme Court reserved its judgments. Therefore, some allegations have been directed towards this association, holding them responsible.
The murder of Kamlesh was also suspected to be an aggravated case of personal enmity. As per the facts brought on records, two men met him outside his residence, offering sweets for Diwali at around 11 AM. It can be confirmed, based on the report of the Director-General of Police O.P. Singh that these men had spent some 36 minutes with Kamlesh in his residence. They after that, as alleged, slit his throat and shot him multiple times with a firearm and then escaped. Kamlesh had died on the spot and was yet rushed to the hospital. The police has been successful in recovering a pistol from the spot where the gruesome crime was committed but has not made any arrests so far. At the time the men entered the house of Kamlesh, Swantantradeep Singh, an associate of Kamlesh was present. However, he had gone out to get a cigarette on the request of one of the two men, and by the time he came back, the crime was committed, and the men had escaped.
Fourth killing in a row in Uttar Pradesh:
This has been the fourth murder of a right-wing leader in Uttar Pradesh this month. The murder of Kamlesh comes after the gunning down of Chaudhary Yashpal Singh in Deoband by bike ridden attackers. Yashpal was the former District Vice President of BJP Kisan Morcha, and his elder brother Chaudhary Shiv Kumar is the headman of their home village of Miragpur. After that, UP also witnessed the death of BJP leader Kabir Tiwari, a former student leader shot dead in Basti and BJP corporator Dhara Singh being gunned down by unidentified men in Saharanpur. The death of the former student leader Kabir Singh had led to massive protests by the student groups into a violent rampage which witnessed the burning of government vehicles. The case had also incited the transfer of and initiation of departmental enquiry against the District Superintendent Pankaj Kumar,
All these incidents have taken place in October this year, and the similarity between all four murders is that they are all inclining towards the right-wing political ideology.
Five people arrested in the Kamlesh Tiwari killing case:
In the matter of the murder of Kamlesh Tiwari, five people have been arrested recently as per the statement made by the Director-General of Uttar Pradesh Police O.P.Singh in a press conference. The arrests could be made after a joint operation between the police forces of Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat as three of the five people arrested in the said case, were taken into custody in the state of Surat in Gujarat. The other two people arrested in the said matter have been identified as Muslim clerics by the name Mohammed Mufti Naeem Kazmi and Imam Maulana Anwarul Haq, belonging to the Bijnor district of western Uttar Pradesh. They have been arrested in the FIR filed by Tiwari’s wife in the case. However, as per the reports made available to the media, it is believed that there are two other people involved in the said murder, who have carried out the entire attack, and are still on the run not under the garb of the Uttar Pradesh police. O.P. Singh has also mentioned that there is no angle of terror involved in this case and the three people arrested from Surat are named to be Mohsin Sheikh, Faizan and Rashid Ahmed. The police suspects the murder to be made in light of the controversial statement made by Kamlesh earlier in 2015 and personal enmity.
Satyam Tiwari, who is the son of the deceased politician, in an interview to NDTV has commented on the ongoing investigation in the case of the murder of his father
“I don’t know if the men arrested murdered my father or if someone else did and innocent people are being framed. If these are the actual culprits and the police has video evidence, the NIA should take over probe. If the probe and this (the arrests) is proved we will be satisfied. We do not have belief in this administration,” he told NDTV.
The family has been insisting on meeting the Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath pertaining to the unfortunate event of Tiwari’s death. They have threatened to set themselves on fire and have said they will not cremate the body of Tiwari unless they meet Yogi in person.