Five people, including three in Surat, have been detained in connection with the murder of Kamlesh Tiwari, the president of a little-known Hindu Samaj Party, police said here on Saturday.
Two of them, identified as Bijnor residents Mohammed Mufti Naeem Kazmi and Imam Maulana Anwarul Haq, were booked on the murder charge on Friday after Tiwari's wife named them in her complaint to police here.
Tiwari's wife Kiran had alleged that both had announced a cash reward of Rs 1.5 crore on her husband's head in 2016.
"They have killed my husband by hatching a conspiracy," she had alleged.
Meanwhile, DGP OP Singh earned some brickbats online when he said that the accused had been ‘radicalised’ by Kamlesh Tiwari’s 2015 speech.
The other three persons detained in Gujarat's Surat are Faizan Yunus Bhai, Maulana Mohsin Sheikh and Rashid Ahmed Khursheed Ahmed Pathan.
DGP O P Singh said the Uttar Pradesh Police and their Gujarat counterparts were interrogating them.
"So far, there is no terror angle associated with this incident," DGP O P Singh said in a press conference here.
Elaborating on the arrest of the three persons in Surat, the DGP said, "On the basis of a packet of sweets obtained from the crime spot, the Gujarat Police was contacted and a team was sent there. A CCTV footage of a Surat-based sweets shop was examined and Faizan Yunus Bhai was identified." He said later Maulana Mohsin Sheikh and Rashid Ahmed Khursheed Ahmed Pathan were detained.
"Going by investigation and joint interrogation, it was clear that these three persons were part of the conspiracy to murder Kamlesh Tiwari," Singh said, adding that their interrogation revealed that they had no links with any terror organisation.
The DGP said two more persons-- Rashid's brother and Gaurav Tiwari--were also questioned but were let off after investigation.
"Gaurav had called Kamlesh a few days ago, expressing his desire to work for the Hindu Samaj Party in Surat and other places," he said.
Tiwari (45), earlier associated with a faction of the Hindu Mahasabha, was killed at his home in Lucknow's Khurshed Bagh on Friday.
"Prime facie it seems that Tiwari was murdered due to a controversial statement he made in 2015. There is a possibility," the DGP said ruling out any terror angle.
On Friday, the police had booked the Bijnor residents and an unidentified person in connection with the murder.
Late on Friday night, UP's Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi had informed that a special investigation team had been constituted to probe the incident. "The team comprises Lucknow IG S K Bhagat, SP (Crime) Dinesh Puri and DSP (STF) P K Mishra," Awasthi said.
With inputs from PTI