New Delhi: In a major breakthrough, two men allegedly involved in the sensational killing of Hindu outfit leader Kamlesh Tiwari were arrested by Gujarat's Anti-terrorism Squad from the Rajasthan border. The two have been identified as Ashfaq Shaikh and Moinuddin Pathan, both residents of Surat.
According to police, the two men, who were absconding after murdering Tiwari in Lucknow on October 18, were nabbed when they were on way to their families as they had run out of cash.
This takes the arrests in the case up to six. Three others from Surat and one from Nagpur in Maharashtra have already been taken into custody in connection with the murder case.
The location of the two accused arrested Tuesday was traced through technical surveillance as they contacted their family members for money. 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).
"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," Gujarat ATS DIG Himanshu Shukla said.
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.
"After committing the crime, the duo went to Nepal and then started their journey back to Gujarat after reaching Shahjahanpur (in Uttar Pradesh). Since they ran out of cash, the accused duo contacted their family members and acquaintances for more money. Based on technical and physical surveillance, they were eventually traced today evening," said the release.
Tiwari (45), who headed HSP, was killed at his home in Naka Hindola area in Lucknow on October 18. He was earlier associated with a faction of the Hindu Mahasabha.
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.
On Friday, in a joint operation, the UP police and Gujarat ATS had arrested three suspects in the case from Surat - Maulana Mohsin Shaikh, Faizan and Rashid Pathan. Meanwhile, a team of the Uttar Pradesh police landed in Surat on Tuesday to conduct further probe into the killing of Tiwari.
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.