Kamlesh Tiwari (16 January 1969 – 18 October 2019)[3] was an Indian politician who founded the Hindu Samaj Party in 2017.[4][5][6]

Kamlesh Tiwari
Born(1969-01-16)16 January 1969
Para Kothba, Sitapur, India
Died18 October 2019(2019-10-18) (aged 50)
Cause of deathAssassination by stabbing
Political partyHindu Samaj Party
SpouseKiran Tiwari[1]
Children3 sons[2]

Azam Khan, a politician from the Samajwadi Party, responded to Union finance minister Arun Jaitley's statements in support of decriminalization of homosexuality, by labelling members of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh as "homosexuals". Tiwari retaliated with comments about Islam's prophet Muhammad,[7] which were considered derogatory by Indian Muslims,[8][9] who protested, with some people calling for beheading Tiwari.[10][11]

Tiwari was subsequently arrested, charged under the National Security Act,[12] and jailed for a few months by the Uttar Pradesh Police, before his release and subsequent murder.[7] Thirteen people have been charged by the UP police in relation to the killing: 8 have been charged for murder and conspiracy, and the other 5 for harboring the killers and concealing evidence.[13][5][14]

Early life and career edit

Tiwari was born in Para Kothba village, in Uttar Pradesh's Sitapur district, in the early 1970s. In 1980, his family moved to the nearby town of Mahmoodabad, when his father got a job as a priest at the local Ram-Janki temple. The family stayed at an accommodation provided within the shrine. Tiwari grew up there during the heyday of the ram temple movement in Ayodhya.[15]

Tiwari was attracted to the Hindutva form of Hindu nationalism in the 1990s. He organized groups of young Hindutva warriors who marched from Lucknow to Ayodhya and participated in the demolition of the mosque at a disputed religious site. He later joined the Bajrang Dal, and was said to admire leaders such as Ashok Singhal, Lal Krishna Advani, Sadhvi Rithambara, and Uma Bharati.[1]

He claimed to be the president of Hindu Mahasabha,[10] and also founded the Hindu Samaj Party in 2017.[5] Tiwari contested the Uttar Pradesh legislative assembly election, from Lucknow, in 2012,[16][17] and attempted to gain a Lok Sabha seat, from Faizabad, in the 2019 Indian general election, but was defeated both times.[18]

Controversy edit

Indian Union finance minister Arun Jaitley, who belonged to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), supported decriminalization of homosexuality.[19] In response to that statement, on 2 December 2015 Azam Khan, a member of the Samajwadi Party, reportedly labelled members of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) – the ideological arm of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – as homosexuals, because they don't marry.[10][20][21] The next day, Kamlesh Tiwari responded to Azam Khan's statement by making derogatory comments about Mohammad.[10][11]

About one hundred thousand Muslims protested in Muzaffarnagar, with some demanding the death penalty for Tiwari,[10][22][23] (the death penalty being reserved in India for the "rarest of rare" crimes),[24] with some demanding that he be "beheaded" for "insulting" Muhammad.[11] Rallies protesting his statement were held by several Islamic groups in other parts of India, some of them demanding the death penalty.[25]

On 3 December 2015, Tiwari was arrested in Lucknow by Uttar Pradesh police,[7][11] for his remarks on 2 December, and charged under the National Security Act by the Samajwadi Party-led Uttar Pradesh state government.[12] He was jailed for several months for his comment, having been charged under Indian Penal Code sections 153-A (promoting enmity between groups on the grounds of religion and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs).[26][27]

The protests demanding capital punishment for Tiwari triggered counter-protests by Hindu groups who accused Muslim groups of demanding enforcement of Islamic law and laws against blasphemy in India.[11] His detention under National Security Act was revoked by the Allahabad High Court on 30 September 2016.[16][28]

Murder edit

On 18 October 2019, Tiwari was murdered by Farid-ud-din Shaikh and Ashfak Shaikh,[29] in his office-cum-residence in Lucknow. The assailants came dressed in saffron kurtas to give him a box of sweets marked with the address of a sweet shop in Surat city in Gujarat.[30][31][14] Tiwari's aide Saurashtrajeet Singh was sent to bring cigarettes for them and when he returned he found Tiwari lying with his throat slit. According to police officials, the assailants had a revolver and knife inside the sweets box. During the attack, one assailant slit Tiwari's throat while another fired at him.[31] He was declared dead during treatment at a hospital's trauma centre.[18]

According to the post-mortem report, he was stabbed 15 times and shot once.[6]

Investigation edit

Two ISIS suspects previously detained by the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of Gujarat, had indicated that they wanted to kill Kamlesh Tiwari in 2017.[32][33] The Al-Hind Brigade, a lesser known group, claimed responsibility for the death of Tiwari.[34][35] By 19 October 2019, six accused of being involved in the murder of Tiwari—including Khurshid Ahmed Pathan, Faizan Pathan, and Maulana Mohsin Sheikh—were detained by the Surat Police, Gujarat ATS, and Uttar Pradesh police.[36][31] The police used CCTV footage from the sweet shop in Surat.[31]

According to the police, the pistol used in the murder was bought in Surat and the murder was planned in Dubai.[37] They also confirmed that Tiwari's comment on Muhammad was the motive for his murder.[38][39]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b Ramakrishnan, Venkitesh (12 November 2019). "Kamlesh Tiwari's mysterious murder". Frontline. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  2. ^ "Kamlesh Tiwari murder: 'My father fought for Hindus whole life, want NIA to probe'". 22 October 2019.
  3. ^ "Hindu Mahasabha President & Leader Kamlesh Tiwari Shot Dead In Lucknow". NDTV.com. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  4. ^ "लखनऊ में हिंदू समाज पार्टी के नेता कमलेश तिवारी की गला रेतकर हत्या". Aaj Tak (in Hindi). 18 October 2019. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  5. ^ a b c Chakraborty, Pathikrit (18 October 2019). "Kamlesh Tiwari: Hindu Mahasabha leader Kamlesh Tiwari stabbed to death in Lucknow". The Times of India. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  6. ^ a b Kumar Abhishek (23 October 2019). "Kamlesh Tiwari was stabbed 15 times, shot once | Post-mortem report". India Today. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  7. ^ a b c Bhatia, Ishita (4 December 2015). "Kamlesh Tiwari not a member, says Hindu Mahasabha". The Times of India. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  8. ^ Kumar, Satish (22 November 2017). India's National Security: Annual Review 2016–17. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-1-351-24079-6.
  9. ^ "Kamlesh Tiwari may contest U.P. bypolls". The Hindu. 20 January 2016. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  10. ^ a b c d e "This is what Kamlesh Tiwari said about Prophet Muhammad which infuriated Muslims". Zee News. 12 December 2015. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  11. ^ a b c d e Who was Kamlesh Tiwari, the Hindu Samaj Party leader killed in broad daylight in Lucknow?, India Today (18 October 2019)
  12. ^ a b Kamlesh Tiwari may contest U.P. bypolls, Mohammad Ali, The Hindu (20 September 2016), Quote: "Mr. Tiwari, who was granted bail last week by a Lucknow court, will remain in jail until the Allahabad High Court decides on his plea against the slapping of the National Security Act (NSA) on him by the State government."
  13. ^ "Charge sheet filed against 13 in Kamlesh Tiwari murder case". Hindustan Times. 26 December 2019. Retrieved 30 January 2022.
  14. ^ a b Ghanghar, Gopi Maniar; Ojha, Arvind (19 October 2019). "Kamlesh Tiwari murder: 3 men including cleric arrested from Gujarat". India Today. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  15. ^ "Kamlesh Tiwari Had Intolerance for Muslims, But He Wasn't Fond of BJP and RSS Either". News18. 21 October 2019. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  16. ^ a b Taneja, Nidhi (18 October 2019). "Who was Kamlesh Tiwari". www.indiatvnews.com. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  17. ^ "Kamlesh Tiwari murder: UP Police arrest three persons from Surat". The Indian Express. 19 October 2019. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  18. ^ a b Rashid, Omar (18 October 2019). "Saffron fringe group leader Kamlesh Tiwari killed in Lucknow". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  19. ^ Choudhary, Amit Anand (29 November 2015). "SC must review Sec 377 ruling, allow gay relationships: Jaitley, Chidambaram". The Times of India. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  20. ^ "Azam Khan no stranger to controversies, has a history of squabbles". Hindustan Times. 27 July 2019. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  21. ^ Tiwari, Mrigank (1 December 2015). "RSS volunteers are 'homosexuals', says Azam Khan". The Times of India. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  22. ^ Rana, Uday (11 December 2015). "1 lakh Muslims gather in Muzaffarnagar, demand death for Kamlesh Tiwari". The Times of India. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  23. ^ "Here's why 1 lakh Muslims are demanding death penalty for Kamlesh Tiwari according to Sharia". DNA India. 12 December 2015. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  24. ^ "India and the death penalty". 4 August 2005. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  25. ^ "Here's why 1 lakh Muslims are demanding death penalty for Kamlesh Tiwari". DNA India. 12 December 2015. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  26. ^ Panwar, Preeti (5 January 2016). "All You Need To Know About Malda Violence: Explained". OneIndia.com. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  27. ^ "Hindu Mahasabha leader Kamlesh Tiwari found murdered inside house in Lucknow". The Indian Express. 18 October 2019. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  28. ^ "Kamlesh Tiwari Murder: Wife Blames 'Maulanas' for Hindu Leader's Death, Cops Call It 'Purely Criminal'". News18. 18 October 2019. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  29. ^ Gopi Maniar Ghanghar Arvind Ojha (19 October 2019). "Kamlesh Tiwari murder: 3 men including cleric arrested from Gujarat". India Today. Retrieved 30 January 2022.
  30. ^ Plan to kill Kamlesh Tiwari hatched 2 months ago: Police, India Today (19 October 2019)
  31. ^ a b c d Shaikh, Sarfaraz (19 October 2019). "Kamlesh Tiwari murder case: Six detained in Surat". The Times of India. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  32. ^ Shaikh, Sarfaraz (19 October 2019). "Surat link in UP Hindu Samaj leader murder?". The Times of India. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  33. ^ "ISIS के निशान पर थे कमलेश तिवारी, गुजरात ATS के पास सबूत". Aaj Tak (in Hindi). Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  34. ^ "On WhatsApp, Al-Hind Brigade Claims Responsibility for Killing Hindu Leader Kamlesh Tiwari". News18. 19 October 2019. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  35. ^ "President of UP political outfit murdered at home 3 booked". The Week. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  36. ^ Mamtany, Sidhant (19 October 2019). "Gujarat ATS cracks Kamlesh Tiwari murder case, key conspirators held in Surat". www.indiatvnews.com. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  37. ^ "Kamlesh Tiwari murder: FIR against three after wife of of[sic] ex-Hindu Mahasabha leader blames Maulanas; police call it 'personal enmity'". Firstpost. 19 October 2019. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  38. ^ "Kamlesh Tiwari murder: UP Police says case solved, remarks on Prophet Muhammad behind killing". India Today. Ist. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  39. ^ "Hindu Leader Kamlesh Tiwari Killed Over Objectionable Comments in 2015, 3 Held from Gujarat: UP Police". News18. 19 October 2019. Retrieved 20 October 2019.