At around 12:30 pm yesterday, two unknown assailants entered the residence of former Hindu Mahasabha leader Kamlesh Tiwari and killed him brutally by slitting his throat.
Tiwari had ruffled feathers of various Islamic Mullahs with his comments against Prophet Muhammad. Tiwari was jailed by the then Akhilesh Yadav government and NSA charges were slapped against him. Tiwari’s remarks on Prophet Muhammad’s sexuality had sparked widespread outrage and there were violent protests in several parts of the country demanding his beheading in December 2015 and January 2016. After being jailed for almost a year, Tiwari had got bail after the Allahabad HC had in September 2016 quashed the NSA charges slapped against him.
The police have kickstarted the investigation into Tiwari’s murder. Though the most important breakthrough in their probe into the Hindu leader’s murder would be to nab the two unidentified youths who carried out the killing, here is a list of 4 people who had openly threatened Kamlesh Tiwari after his comments on Prophet Muhammad.
1. Jameel Asghar Pratapgarhi
In an event in Bengaluru in 2015, Jameel issued a threat directed at Tiwari for his comments against Prophet Muhammad. While addressing the audience, Jameel said, “There will be no land beneath your legs, never ever try to touch the skies, those who insult the Prophet Muhammad, beware, we will get your tongue severed.”
Ironically, this threat came at a peace event organised by National Peacemaker foundation to promote peace and communal harmony between different communities.
2. Maulana Anwar-ul-Haq
Maulana Anwarul Haq, the head Imam of Jama Masjid in Bijnor UP in 2015 had made chilling threats against Kamlesh Tiwari. Offering Rs. 51 lakh for anyone who beheads Kamlesh Tiwari, Haq said, “If UP Government and our courts do not punish Tiwari, the Muslims of Bijnore offer Rs 51 lakhs to anyone who beheads Tiwari. Anyone who abuses any religion, whether it is Islam or Hindu Dharma, they will not be spared. Kamlesh Tiwari, let me warn you – whether you are in jail or outside if the courts do not punish you, Muslims of Bharat will mete out their own punishment.”
It is notable to mention that Maulana Anwarul Haq was booked in 2016 for raping a woman. In her complaint against the possible killers, late Kamlesh Tiwari’s wife has mentioned Maulana Anwarul Haq as one of the possible conspirators behind her husband’s murder.
3. Mufti Abdul Razzaq
Mufti Abdul Razzaq, the Mufti-e-Azam of Madhya Pradesh, goaded people into taking law in their hands to deliver right punishment to Kamlesh Tiwari if the law of the land fails to do it.
He said, “We live in India with complete loyalty and expect India’s laws to remain impartial and loyal towards us when it comes to our religious sentiments, especially towards our Prophet. But if the law does not provide justice to us, then it will be hard for us to remain loyal towards the law, and we will have to take it in our own hands.”
4. Mohammed Mufti Naeem Kazmi
Kamlesh Tiwari’s wife has filed an FIR against 3 men asserting that these three men might have some role in the death of her husband. His wife said that Mohammed Mufti Naeem Kazmi and Maulana Anwarul Haq had placed a bounty of Rs 1.5 crore for the one who would behead her husband Kamlesh Tiwari. Incidentally, after shooting bullets at Kamlesh Tiwari, the unknown assailants also tried to hack off his head as deep slitting marks were visible around his neck.
Kamlesh Tiwari was arrested by the then Akhilesh Yadav government for his remarks against Prophet Mohammad’s sexuality in 2015. Muslim groups in Deoband, Saharanpur and West Bengal had launched massive riots and protests demanding Tiwari’s death.
Kamlesh Tiwari had remained in jail or over a year after the National Security Act was slapped on him. In September 2016, the Allahabad HC had finally quashed the NSA charges against him and he was released later. The arrest and subsequent charges on Kamlesh Tiwari over remarks against Prophet Muhammad had caused an outrage in the nation, especially among Hindu groups.
In Kaliachak, Malda, West Bengal, Muslims had engaged in rampant violence and riots while ‘protesting’ against Tiwari’s remarks. Over 2.5 lakh Muslims had gathered in Kaliachak and had looted shops, burnt buses and had set fire to a police station to express their anger over Tiwari’s remarks. Tiwari had stated that Prophet Mohammad was the first homosexual in the world.
Tiwari’s remarks had come after SP leader Azam Khan’s statement that RSS members are homosexuals.