The murder of Kamlesh Tiwari is yet another grim reminder of how vulnerable Hindu leaders have become.

Tiwari was shot dead by two persons and the police are on the trail of two persons in Surat, Gujarat who go by the names Sheikh Ashfaq Hussain and Pathan Moinuddin Ahmed. Chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath said that this is an act aimed at creating terror.

The question is whether these are isolated incidents aimed at revenge or is there a clear pattern to it.

Also read: Kamlesh Tiwari murder: Guns used in the murder hidden in a sweet box?

When we look at states such as Kerala, Bengal, Punjab or Karnataka, similar incidents in which Hindu leaders being targeted have been reported. The National Investigation Agency is probing several cases in this regard. The NIA has also found that these are not incidents that have been planned locally.

Murders most foul:

Earlier this year, the NIA took over the probe into the murder of the RSS’ Punjab deputy chief, Jagdish Gagnega. The NIA found the involvement of the ISI backed Khalistan Liberation Force in this case. It was also found that the KLF had carried out targeted killings in Punjab between January 2016 and October 2017.

An NIA officer part of the probe tells MyNation that this was an international conspiracy. Funds had come in from Pakistan, Canada and Italy. The idea was to target the Hindu leaders and create fear and also spread terror, the officer who did not wish to be identified said.

Punjab alone has seen five such incidents between 2016 (2) and 2017 (3). The probe found that the plan was masterminded by a British national, Gursharanbir Singh. He had recruited Ramandeep and Hardeep Singh to kill the Hindu leaders. Further it was also found that the handlers who directed these killings were in Italy, Canada and the United Kingdom.

A similar modus operandi was busted in Gujarat as well. This time it was the Dawood gang acting at the behest of the ISI. The NIA is probing the case relating to the murder of two Hindu leaders, Pragnesh Mistry and Shirish Bengali.

It was found that the D Gang wanted to spread panic by targeting Hindu leaders and cause communal tension. Further it was found that the operation handled by Javed Chikna also had several more Hindu leaders on the hit-list. The probe found the names of Viral Desai, a VHP leader, Jaykar Maharaj, a priest and Prakash Modi, the brother-in-law of Shirish Bengali.

Another shocking murder was that of RSS activist, Rudresh in Bengaluru, Karnataka. He was murdered in October 2016 and worse it was in broad daylight at the busy Shivajinagar. The police arrested one Azim Sheriff and Waseem in connection with this case.

There are similar cases in West Bengal and Kerala as well. In Bengal there has been a sharp rise in the number of such murders. The NCRB says in 2013 Bengal had recorded 26 such murders. The Home Ministry data says that between 2016 and 2019 a total of 183 such killings have taken place in Bengal.

An international conspiracy:

The foreign funding that has been traced in the murders at Gujarat and Punjab make it very clear that there is an international conspiracy.  There are links that have emerged from Pakistan, Italy, Dubai, UK etc in these cases.

In the Punjab killings, the NIA found that one of the key players, Harmeet Singh alias PHD, an NRI had shifted base from Dubai to Pakistan. Further it was also found that the sharpshooter, Hardeep Singh Shera was in close contact with the chief of the KLF, Harminder Singh Mintoo.

Shera who is in the custody of the police said during his questioning that he met with Mintoo at a function in Italy in the year 2014. Mintoo then sent Shera to Dubai, where he was imparted training. After his training, he returned to Italy and from there he flew into Punjab, 15 days before the killings.

Intelligence Bureau officials say that the ISI trying to fight a perception battle in India. In addition to the terror it spreads in Jammu and Kashmir, it is also attempting to silence the many voices in different parts of the country.

In both the Gujarat and Punjab cases, it was found that the plans were hatched in Pakistan, while the funds came in from Canada, UK and Italy. The chatter that had been picked by the IB and the subsequent investigation by the agencies have found that there is a systematic plan to eliminate Hindu leaders in India.

In a bid to put into motion this trans-national conspiracy, operatives from various countries have been roped in by Pakistan. While chasing the money trail, it was found by the NIA that funds were pumped from Australia and UAE as well.

In the Gujarat murders of Hindu leaders, the NIA found that the ISI had tasked this job to the Dawood gang. The idea was not only to eliminate the leaders, but also ensure that a major communal clash breaks out so that it spread to the rest of the country. It was also found that the hitmen were paid Rs 5 lakh to eliminate the Hindu leaders and the money was routed into India from a hawala channel in Dubai.

The accused were told to first do a thorough research and chose their targets wisely. The accused then prepared the hit-list and shared with their handlers in Dubai and Pakistan, following which the hit orders were given.

In the case of Tiwari, the UP police say that this was a case of radical killing. The killing has created a huge outrage and the family has also demanded an NIA probe into the case. The UP police have for now claimed that there is no terror link. However, an officer in Gujarat says that it is too early to come to conclusions. We will go deeper into this case and find out if it is part of the pattern that we have been witnessing in other parts of the country.