A DAY after a Bareilly-based cleric, Kafi Ali, was arrested for allegedly helping the killers of Kamlesh Tiwari, the former president of Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the murder case nabbed another Bareilly resident, Naved Raza Siddiqui, who is a 26-year-old lawyer.
According to the police, Naved drove the two assailants to Nepal in his car and also facilitated their stay there after the crime. Naved, who also runs a travel agency, was booked on charges of destroying evidence and sheltering the killers, said IG, Lucknow range, S K Bhagat.
The SIT arrested two more persons identified as Mohammad Asif and Raees Ahmed. Both are residents of Lakhimpur Kheri. Police said they provided shelter to the killers and also helped them financially while they were on the run. Asif runs a car accessories store and Raees owns a mobile phone shop in Lakhimpur Kheri. It was Naved who introduced Asif and Raees to the killers, police added. With Friday’s arrests, ten people have so far been held in connection with the murder case.
The SIT is also looking for Naved’s aide, a Nepal-based businessman identified only as Tanveer. He had allegedly given shelter to the two main accused, Ashfaq Hussain Zakir Hussain Shaikh and Fareed alias Moinuddin Khurshid Pathan, at his residence for a day.
“Naved was tasked with arranging for the safe surrender of Ashfaq and Moinuddin. Naved had advised Ashfaq and Moinuddin to remain in Nepal till the situation normalised. Both went to Nepal in Naved’s vehicle where they stayed at Tanveer’s house, located near the India-Nepal border. The two killers stayed there for a day — between October 19 afternoon and October 20 evening. After the arrest of Syed Ali in Nagpur, Naved asked them to return,” a senior officer part of the SIT said.
“We are now probing the role of Tanveer while studying the statement of the arrested accused. We will initiate further legal formalities to take Tanveer into custody on the basis of evidence. Naved told us that Tanveer hailed from Bareilly and is running a business in Nepal. They met at a religious place a few years ago,” the officer added.
“Naved is also accused of dropping a cellphone of one of the killers in an Ambala-bound train to mislead the police,” the officer said.
To aid the killers, Naved had sought the help of three acquaintances and the police are looking into their role. “These three persons belong to Bareilly and one of them accompanied Naved when he left the cellphone in a train,” the officer said.
Except for Kafi Ali, the other arrested accused are presently in police custody. They are Syed Ali, Ashraf, Moinuddin, Rashid Pathan, Faizan Sheikh, and Maulana Mohsin Sheikh.
Kafi Ali was arrested Friday and sent to jail by a court in Lucknow.