Surat resident Ashfaq Shaikh, a prime suspect in the Kamlesh Tiwari murder case, allegedly impersonated his colleague by forging the latter's Aadhaar card to join the Hindu Samaj Party (HSP) of the slain leader.
Tiwari (45), who headed HSP, was killed at his home in Naka Hindola area in Lucknow on October 18. He was earlier associated with a faction of the Hindu Mahasabha.
Shaikh and another suspect Moinuddin who has been on run have emerged as the key accused in the murder.
Shaikh allegedly replaced his colleague Rohit Solanki's photo on the latter's Aadhaar card with his own. He also changed the birth date on the Aadhaar card.
Solanki told reporters that he had no idea about Shaikh's acts before his name cropped up in the murder.
"I used work as a medical representative for a pharma company and Ashfaq Shaikh was my immediate senior. Since he was the area manager, I submitted a copy of my Aadhaar card to him to complete the joining formalities as per the company policy. Now I have learnt that he forged the Aadhaar card to assumed my identity
"Ashfaq replaced my photo with his on the Aadhaar card. He also changed the birth date, but left other details like my name and the unique identification number untouched," Solanki said.
Solanki said he never found Shaikh's behaviour suspicious in the last 18 months when he had worked with him.
"It was really shocking to learn that he is involved in the crime and forged my Aadhaar card," said Solanki.
He said he would lodge a complaint with police against Shaikh.
Shaikh aka Solanki was inducted into the HSP by its Gujarat unit president Jaimin Dave.
Dave said he was not aware of the original identity of Shaikh, as the Aadhaar card submitted by the latter identified himself as Solanki.
Dave further said Shaikh had sent him a friend request on Facebook.
"Many party workers were already on the friend list of Shaikh who passed himself off as Solanki," he added.
Dave informed that he had shared the details of Shaikh's forged identity with the Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS).
"We inducted him into the party because the name on the Aadhaar card submitted by him was Rohit Solanki. We realised now that he had forged that document to join our party," he said.
Shaikh was inducted into the HSP in June this year and was appointed as 'pracharak' in the party's IT Cell for Varachha ward in Surat city.
"This person (Shaikh) was in contact with the party office-bearers of the entire country. He used to talk with everyone by identifying himself as Rohit Solanki. We also thought that he was a Hindu. We inducted him only after going through his documents," Dave said in a social media post.
Dave was getting trolled for hiring Shaikh.
Six persons, including three from Surat and one from Nagpur in Maharashtra, were taken into custody in connection with the murder case being probed by the Uttar Pradesh Police.
The UP police on Monday announced a reward of Rs 2.5 lakh each for arrests of two more suspects.