- Suspects have left behind a large evidence trail
- They were also caught on CCTV cameras
- Kamlesh Tiwari's throat was slit and he was shot multiple times
Three days after Kamlesh Tiwari, an Uttar Pradesh politician, was murdered at his residence in Lucknow, the police have yet to arrest either of the men suspected of the crime. The suspects have left behind a large evidence trail, including blood-stained clothes and knife recovered from a hotel room the killers booked using real names and addresses, close to the victim's house in the Khurshed Bagh neighbourhood of the city. They were also caught on CCTV cameras - outside Mr Tiwari's home and at their hotel - and left behind a box of sweets, with an address printed on it, purchased from a confectionery in Surat in Gujarat.
Kamlesh Tiwari's throat was slit and he was shot multiple times. As investigations into the brutal murder continue, OP Singh, Director-General of Police (UP) today refused to rule out a terror angle, something he appeared to do on Saturday, when he called the murder a "radical killing" and said the accused did not seem to have links to terror outfits. On Friday, a senior Lucknow police official described the murder as "a case of personal enmity".
"See... there are many kinds of terror modules. There are self-motivated modules. There are sleeper modules. There are modules connected to terror outfits. We are looking at this from all angles. When we arrest the other accused we will know the truth," DGP OP Singh told NDTV today.
On Saturday, while announcing the arrest of five people - three from Gujarat and two from western UP's Bijnor district, after a joint operation by police forces of the two states, the state's top cop said Mr Tiwari's murder looked like a "radical killing".
"Prima facie this is a radical killing. Prima facie these people have been radicalised by a speech made by Mr Tiwari in 2015 but much more can tumble out once we catch hold of all the accused," OP Singh said.
"... so far we have not established any links to special terrorist organisation..." he said, adding, "We were confident we would solve the case in 24 hours and we have done so".
The men arrested in UP were identified as Muslim clerics Maluana Anwar-Ul Haq and Mufti Naeem Kazmin, according to ANI. One of the clerics had placed a Rs. 51 lakh bounty on Mr Tiwari's life in 2016 after the politician allegedly made a derogatory remark about Prophet Mohammad the year before.
On Friday, Kalanidi Naithani, the Senior Superintendent of Police (Lucknow), said Kamlesh Tiwari's killers were likely known to him.
"Prime facie this seems to be a case of personal enmity about some matter. The people had come to meet him and there was some enmity. The men seemed to know Mr Tiwari," he said.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Maurya has also weighed in on the matter.
"When things were tense Mr Tiwari was give more security... he had two gunners. MLA gets only one.This was not a case where someone attacked him and security was unable to stop it. This is like stabbing someone in the back. Mr Tiwari was a courageous man," Mr Maurya said.
In addition to the differing police versions, Kamlesh Tiwari's family have also spoken out, with Kusum Tiwari, the mother, alleging that her son had been killed by a Lucknow politician in a dispute over temple land.
Satyam Tiwari, the victim's son, has already cast doubts over the efficacy of the state investigation, telling reporters that he wanted the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to probe the case.
Mr Tiwari's wife, Kiran Tiwari, who on Friday threatened self-immolation if her husband's killers were not brought to justice, has hit out at the UP government for having failed to protect him.
A reward of Rs 2.5 lakh has been offered for information leading to the arrest of either suspect. The three men arrested by the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) in Gujarat have been brought to Lucknow on a 72-hour transit remand. They are expected to be produced before a judge today.
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