FARAZ AHMAD | 22 OCTOBER, 2019
The Murder of Kamlesh Tiwari
The alacrity with which the entire police force around the country from Uttar Pradesh, to Gujarat to Maharashtra and we know not where else, sprung into action over the murder of Hindu Samaj Party chief and former working president of Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha, Kamlesh Tiwari in Lucknow on October 18, is remarkable. Except that it left his 70 year old mother Kusum totally unconvinced, unsatisfied, blaming instead chief minister Yogi Adityanath for deliberately reducing Tiwari security to expose him to this passe, leaving too many questions to be answered.
The very next day the UP Police, the Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) of Gujarat police and the Crime branch of Surat police swooped upon the alleged assailants and arrested three persons, namely one Rashid Ahmad Pathan, 21 who was working in Dubai for last two years and had returned home only last month to participate in his brother’s marriage scheduled for November 3; Faizan Shaikh, 21, a computer software executive and Maulana Mohsin Shaikh, 24, teaching in a Surat Madrasa.
Within no time they readily confessed, so claimed the Gujarat ATS Deputy SP K K Patel. Meanwhile Maharashtra ATS chief Deven Bharti too announced from Mumbai they too have nabbed one likely conspirator in Nagpur who is currently being interrogated and shall be produced soon, betraying a certain nervousness and anxiety on the part of this BJP Government to prove its sincerity in catching the alleged murderers of Tiwari. However Pathan’s father Khurshid, making preparations for his other son’s wedding expressed shock at the arrest of his sons (one of them was later released) and said “My children are innocent. We don’t know who this Kamlesh Tiwari is what he does and who killed him.”
With the breaking of the news of Tiwari’s killing a CCTV footage was released by the police showing two men in saffron walking away, presuming that these were the two assailants. The very next day the police located the hotel and the room in which the suspected assailants lodged in Lucknow.
According to the police, the two assailants also hail from Surat. They boarded the Valsad-Kanpur Udhyogkarmi Express on October 16 night, detrained at Kanpur on October 17 night and then travelled by road to Lucknow. Checked into Khalsa Inn in Lalbagh area at 11.08 pm. They left the hotel at 10.38 am on October 18, and then in an unusual and unprofessional act returned to the hotel, (presumably after committing the murder) at 1.21 pm but within 16 minutes left the hotel again never to return. They carried with them a box of sweets together with its bill to help the police locate that it was purchased from Dharti Sweets in Udhna, Surat.
They also left behind in their hotel room all the tell-tale signs of committing the crime, namely a blood stained knife, a blood stained kurta (conflicting versions whether it was white or saffron), a towel, an empty box of cell phone, a shaving kit, an empty spectacle case and two empty bags with their fingerprints on it, the police claimed.
From all appearances the two assailants did everything possible to help the police catch them and yet they have so far succeeded in eluding the Police net. Also that Kamlesh Tiwari’s mother has dismissed the Police version and blamed by name Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his administration for having “betrayed” their family by withdrawing adequate security provided by his predecessor Akhilsh Yadav, despite repeated requests.
She in fact told India Today TV channel on record, that “The police will parade some innocent persons and say these are the ones who killed my son, while giving protection to the mafia. What will the administration do when they are the ones who betrayed us,” she said.
Curiously when she said that Yogi conspired against her son because he was jealous of his rising popularity, ABP TV anchor Sumit Awasthi suddenly without provocation tried to tell Kusum Tiwari not to give it a Hindu-Muslim colour to which she angrily countered not to put words into her mouth when she never mentioned anything about Hindu-Muslim and stop behaving as agent of the Yogi government. Suddenly the channel disconnected Kusum Tiwari.
She said “Under the previous government, my son had a security cover of around 17 cops. When Yogi Adityanath became CM, it was first reduced to eight-nine and then to four. Two of them followed my son wherever he went while two would be stationed at his office. But on the day my son was murdered, surprisingly none of the four security guards was with him,” she said.
This was also corroborated by none other than Tiwari’s virtual second in command Swarashtra Deep Singh in charge of Khushinagar district party unit who was present in the room when the two assailants arrived. According to him Tiwari received a phone call in the forenoon and asked his wife to clean and spruce up his office on the first floor of the house which she did promptly and then asked her to prepare tea for the visitors.
They came an hour later and went straight up to the first floor room, as if they were familiar with the topography of the place. They sat and chatted with Tiwari for nearly half an hour and had tea in the presence of Deep Singh. Then one of them asked Singh to go and fetch cigarettes for him from the market upon which Singh promptly left the scene, leaving Tiwari alone with the two. When he returned he saw Tiwari lying on the floor with his throat slit and blood oozing from there. He raised an alarm and Tiwari’s wife Kiran rushed in. They called the ambulance but at the hospital he was declared dead.
The initial reaction of SSP Kalanidhi Nathwani was, “Prima facie it appears the two attacked Tiwari due to personal animosity. It was likely that the victim was known to the assailants.”
Initially the doctor said the death appeared to have been caused by the slitting of his throat, according to reports in the media.
But subsequently after the police recovered the pistol the police seemed to have an afterthought and Additional SP Vikas Tripathi said that the post mortem report also said there was also a bullet mark in the neck.
It defies logic though if they were carrying a pistol and presumably used a silencer for no one at home heard any pistol shot where was the need to carry a knife that too in a sweet box along with the bill all the way from Surat and use it at all?
It is widely known that Tiwari was a kind of thorn in Yogi’s flesh by acting more radical than the chief minister who claims proprietary rights over the title of Hindu Hriday Samrat in UP. Tiwari, for his provocative utterances surely faced threats also presumably from hot headed extremist elements among Muslim youth. Despite this Yogi progressively reduced his security to virtual Zero, giving credibility to the charge of deliberate complicit negligence, which sometime back Tiwari himself had levelled against Yogi.