Lucknow police on Sunday recovered a blood-stained knife from a hotel room where two people allegedly involved in the murder of Hindu Samaj Party leader Kamlesh Tiwari were staying.
Earlier that day, police claimed to have found a saffron garment and a blood-stained towel from the same room. Police had raided the now-sealed room at Hotel Khalsa after obtaining specific information about the two suspects.
Police also claim to have recovered the pistol used for the crime.
"The two suspects had registered themselves as Sheikh Ashfaq Hussain and Pathan Moinuddin Ahmed. They came here at 11:08 pm on October 17. At 10:38 am the next day, they went out, returned at 1:21 pm and finally left the hotel at 1:37 pm. A saffron garment and a towel with bloodstains were found in the room," Lucknow Police said in a statement.
Armed assailants had shot at 43-year-old Kamlesh Tiwari and slit his throat in front of his residence at Lucknow's Naka area on October 18, after which he was taken to a nearby hospital. He, however, died while undergoing treatment.
Arvind Chaurasia, manager of Hotel Khalsa, said he had informed police about the suspects soon after video footage of the murder was played on TV. "When the two did not return to their room, we tried contacting them on the numbers mobile registered with us. Both the phones were switched off. They were carrying Surat identity cars. We saw their belongings upon opening their room and informed the police," news agency ANI quoted him as saying.
Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police OP Singh said that three people have been taken into custody by a joint team of the Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat police in connection with the murder.
The accused, identified as Maulana Mohsin Sheikh (24), Khurshid Ahmed Pathan (23) and Faizan (21), were arrested from Gujarat on Saturday while a fourth person was detained by the Maharashtra anti-terror squad in Nagpur. An Ahmedabad court granted 72-hour transit remand of the three in this connection the following day, ANI reported.
Kamlesh Tiwari's family claims that he had received a death threat in 2016. They have demanded capital punishment for those involved in his murder.
(With inputs from ANI)
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