The Uttar Pradesh Police on Monday announced a cash reward of Rs 2.5 lakh each for information that could lead to the capture of two accused involved in the murder of Hindu Samaj Party leader Kamlesh Tiwari in the state last week, the Hindustan Times reported.

Tiwari, purportedly also a member of the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha, was attacked inside his office in Khurshed Bagh in Lucknow on Friday. The assailants slit his throat. They also took out a pistol from a box of sweets and shot him. He died while undergoing treatment in the hospital.

On Sunday, the Lucknow Police recovered a blood-stained knife from a hotel room in the Lalbagh area of the city, where the two murder accused were allegedly staying. “The two suspects had registered themselves as Sheikh Ashfaq Hussain and Pathan Moinuddin Ahmed,” the police said in a statement. “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.”

Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police OP Singh said on Sunday 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 were identified as Maulana Mohsin Sheikh, Khurshid Ahmed Pathan, and Faizan. They were arrested on Saturday in Surat by a joint team of the Gujarat Police and the Uttar Pradesh Police. They will be taken to Uttar Pradesh on Monday.

On Monday, Singh said the Rs 5 lakh reward was announced to get inputs about Hussain and Moinuddin, so that they could be arrested at the earliest. He added that the Uttar Pradesh Police were in touch with the Anti-Terrorism Squads of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana and Karnataka as well as intelligence agencies for the arrest of the two accused. He did not rule out the terror angle in Tiwari’s murder.

Tiwari had been placed under a year-long detention in 2015 after he made some derogatory remarks about Prophet Muhammad.

However, the last video Tiwari posted before his death showed him blaming Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath for removing his security. Tiwari’s mother, Kusum, has alleged that her son was killed by a local Bharatiya Janata Party leader over a land dispute.

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