Two men allegedly involved in the sensational killing of Hindu outfit leader Kamlesh Tiwari were arrested by the Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad on Tuesday evening, said officials.
The accused, Surat residents Ashfaq Shaikh, 34, and Moinuddin Pathan, 27, were absconding since Tiwari’s brutal killing in Lucknow on October 18, they said.
They were arrested from near Shamlaji on the Gujarat-Rajasthan border when they were about to enter Gujarat on Tuesday evening, said Himanshu Shukla, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Gujarat ATS.
Primary interrogation of the accused revealed that they had committed the crime “in retribution to the purported statements by Tiwari”, an ATS release said.
Their location was traced through technical surveillance as they contacted their family members and friends after running out of cash, Shukla said.
He said the duo will be handed over to the Uttar Pradesh police, probing the sensational killing of Tiwari, who headed a little known outfit, Hindu Samaj Party.
While Shaikh, a resident of the Limbayat area in Surat, used to work as a medical representative, Pathan, a resident of Umarwada, was employed as a food delivery boy, the release said.
“After committing the crime, the duo went to Nepal and then started their journey back to Gujarat after reaching Shahjahanpur (in Uttar Pradesh).
“Since they ran out of cash, the accused duo contacted their family members and acquaintances for more money. Based on technical and physical surveillance, they were eventually traced today evening,” said the release.
Six persons, including three from Surat and one from Nagpur in Maharashtra, have already been taken into custody in connection with the murder case.
On Friday, in a joint operation, the UP police and Gujarat ATS had arrested three suspects in the case from Surat — Maulana Mohsin Shaikh, Faizan and Rashid Pathan.
Meanwhile, a team of the Uttar Pradesh police landed in Surat on Tuesday to conduct further probe into the killing of Tiwari.
The Surat link came to light after the UP police found a box of sweets, bearing the logo of Dharti Sweets located in the Udhna area of the diamond city, from Tiwari’s house, where he was gunned down by assailants.
Sources in the Surat police revealed a team of the UP police landed in the south Gujarat city and visited the sweet shop to get some more clues from CCTV footage.
The UP team also visited Limbayat and Navsari Bazar areas to question people who know the accused arrested from Surat, the sources said.