The Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad on Tuesday arrested the two main suspects who allegedly killed Hindu Samaj Party leader Kamlesh Tiwari in Uttar Pradesh last week, The Indian Express 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.

The suspects were identified as 34-year-old Ashfaq Hussain Jakir Hussain Shaikh and 27-year-old Moinuddin Khurshid Pathan. Both are residents of Surat in Gujarat. They were arrested from the temple town of Shamlaji near the Gujarat-Rajasthan border. They were on the way to Gujarat after having reached Shahjahanpur from Nepal.

“Both accused will be handed over to UP Police in the coming days as the case had been registered with Lucknow Police,” Gujarat ATS Deputy Inspector General Himanshu Shukla said. “They confessed to us about their involvement in the murder of Kamlesh Tiwari last Friday.” Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police OP Singh said they will bring the accused to the state on transit remand soon, ANI reported.

The primary investigation of the accused revealed that they had committed the crime “in retribution to purported statements by the deceased”, the ATS said in a press release.

The ATS said that the duo were apprehended on the basis of technical and physical surveillance of their family members and acquaintances. “Once their money dried up, the accused called their family members and acquaintances in Surat for assistance,” the statement said.

While Shaikh worked as a medical representative, Pathan worked for a food supply company. Shaikh allegedly posed as Rohit Solanki, a colleague in his company, and used details of his Aadhaar card to join Tiwari’s Hindu Samaj Party, Hindustan Times reported. “I used work as a medical representative for a pharma company and Ashfaq Shaikh was my immediate senior,” Solanki told reporters on Tuesday. “Since he was the area manager, I submitted a copy my Aadhaar card to him to complete the joining formalities as per the company policy. Now I have learnt that he forged the Aadhaar card to assume my identity.”

With this, five people have been arrested on charges of allegedly scripting the conspiracy behind the murder. Rashid Pathan, Faizan Sheikh and Maulana Mohsin Sheikh were arrested in Surat in a joint operation with the Uttar Pradesh Police. A court in Lucknow on Tuesday sent them to police custody for four days, police said.

Tiwari’s mother, Kusum, said: “We are very happy with the arrest of the accused persons, they should all be hanged. I’m satisfied by the government’s action.”

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.

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