Lucknow: The Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) Tuesday arrested the two prime suspects in the murder of Hindu Samaj leader Kamlesh Tiwari, who was killed in Lucknow last week.
Ashfaq Hussain (34) and Moinuddin Khurshid Pathan (27) are both residents of Surat.
“The two wanted men have been successfully apprehended. They had fled Lucknow after murdering Kamlesh Tiwari,” an ATS official said.
The duo had allegedly been on the run since the murder, and the UP Police had Monday announced a reward of Rs 2.5 lakh each for any information that could lead to their capture.
According to police, while Hussain is a medical representative, Pathan is a food delivery agent.
‘Had fled to Nepal’
The duo was caught as they returned home after running out of money, police said. A police source claimed that they had fled to Nepal but were forced to return on account of the funds crunch.
“Both are residents of Surat and once the money they had taken with them for the operation finished, they approached their family members and acquaintances for further finances,” the officer said.
“We had already mounted technical and physical surveillance on all relatives and friends of the duo, so once they came in their contact, they were successfully nabbed,” he added.
“They were hiding in Shahjahanpur (Uttar Pradesh) and reached Gujarat only on Tuesday,” the officer said.
They were traced and arrested from the Gujarat-Rajasthan border near Shamlaji, police added.
According to police, initial interrogation revealed that the duo planned to kill Tiwari because of a statement he made against the Prophet in 2015.
The Gujarat ATS will now hand over the duo to UP Police for further interrogation.
A total of eight people have been arrested for their alleged role in Tiwari’s murder. These include three others from Surat, Rashid Pathan, Faizan and Maulana Salim Sheikh, two from Bijnor, Mufti Naeem Kazmi and Imam Maulana Anwarul Haq, and one from Nagaur, Syed Asim Ali.
This is an updated version of the report