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Sunday 7 June 2020

Gujarat-UP police rivalry mars Kamlesh Tiwari murder probe

A recording of a telephone conversation between Syed Ashfaqul Hussain and his wife and father suggests they had settled with Gujarat ATS how the killer would surrender

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Police have arrested Bareilly-based lawyer Mohammed Naved Raza Siddiqui and residents of Palia of Lakhimpur Rafiq Raees and Asif, who helped the killers of Hindu Samaj Party president Kamlesh Tiwari, after questioning them last evening, even as an unseemly game of one-upmanship between Gujarat ATS and Uttar Pradesh Police threatened to derail action on the murderers and conspirators in the case.

Naved had helped the accused, Ashfaq and Moinuddin, stay in the dargah (mausoleum) in Bareilly and reach the international border with Nepal. Raees and Asif had helped the killers at the behest of Naved for Rs 10,000. So far, nine persons have been arrested in the Kamlesh Tiwari murder case.

Naved was caught by the police team on Thursday and brought to Lucknow. According to police sources, Naved made food and lodging-boarding arrangements for the murderers in Bareilly. He took both of them to Nepal by his car and also helped them return. It was Naved who tampered with the evidence by removing the mobile phone of the killers. A source in the police said, “Naved is accused of erasing evidence and protecting the killers.”

In the meantime, as reported by Sirf News earlier, police took Sheikh Ashfaqul Hussain and Moinuddin Pathan, accused of killing Kamlesh Tiwari, out of jail on a two-day remand on Friday in the morning. Naka police in Lucknow questioned the duo about the second knife used in the murder. A blood-stained knife was found in their hotel room. The killers had another pistol, about which they are being questioned.

At present, the killers have given information about the place where the knife was thrown. Late in the night, the police team took both of them to their designated place. However, the knife has not been recovered so far.

Ashfaq and Moin could have been apprehended by Uttar Pradesh Police, but the Gujarat ATS succeeded as they had already approached the father and wife of the killer, Ashfaq. This is revealed in the recording of the conversation with Ashfaq and his wife and father. Gujarat ATS did not share information with UP Police until both the accused were caught.

Curiously, however, the recording leaked and went viral on social media. Now Gujarat ATS has registered an objection to its circulation.

After the murder of Kamlesh Tiwari, Ashfaq reached Shahjahanpur and called his wife. The conversation suggests the killer and his wife were contemplating Ashfaq’s surrender. Ashfaq wanted to return to Lucknow, while his wife and father asked him to come to Gujarat.

In the audio that has gone viral, Ashfaq is heard telling his father that he would go to Lucknow the next day — to which the father asks the son to come to Gujarat instead.

Ashfaq replies that is not possible. His father says that he has had a talk with the Gujarat ATS already: “Here the whole procedure (probably of surrender) is complete,” he said to his son, adding, “Those in Lucknow have said ‘no’.”

After the audio leaked, the story the police had told the media — that Ashfaq and Moinuddin were arrested by Gujarat ATS from the Gujarat-Rajasthan border — has turned incredible.

Gujarat ATS has expressed displeasure over the leak of this audio, alleging that UP Police has leaked it deliberately. According to sources in Gujarat ATS, on Friday, they called a senior officer of UP Police to lodge their objection.

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