Thiruvananthapuram: Tension mounts in Kerala after two political leaders from Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were murdered an apparent retaliatory attack in Alappuzha, within span of 12 hours, pushing the administration to impose Section 144 in the district for two days. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has condemned the murders and assured strict action.
Late Sunday evening, SDPI state secretary KS Shaan (38) was murdered while he was on way home. The police said Mr Shaan was on a two-wheeler, when a gang in a car intercepted him, hit his bike and stabbed him. The victim received multiple fractures and head injuries and later succumbed to his injuries at a Kochi hospital around midnight, the police said. He is survived by his wife and two children.
In less than 12 hours, BJP OBC Morcha leader Ranjith Sreenivasan, who was the Secretary of the party’s OBC unit, was hacked to death outside his house on Sunday after some unidentified men barged into his house. Police said the BJP leader was out for a morning stroll when an eight-member team of assailants pounced on him and stabbed him. He died on way to the hospital.
The police are investigating the matter. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 has been imposed in the district for two days and strict checking is being conducted. Unnecessary gatherings will not be allowed, an officer said.
“Such heinous and inhumane acts of violence are dangerous to the state. I am sure that all the people would be ready to identify and isolate such killer groups and their hateful attitudes,” Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said in a press conference, assuring police action to identify the accused.
According to the police, eleven people have been arrested in the BJP leader’s murder case. Some of them are suspected to be directly involved in the case.
The BJP and the SDPI have accused each other of being responsible for the murders.
BJP National General Secretary CT Ravi accused the CPM-led Kerala government of “turning ‘God’s Own Country’ into Jihadis Paradise”.
Union minister V Muralidharaan also condemned the attacks, alleging “goondaraj” (lawlessness) in Kerala and said the state is turning into “killing fields”. Tagging Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, he tweeted:
.@VijayanPinarayi‘ Goondaraj takes yet another precious life.@BJP4OBCMorcha State Secretary Adv. Renjith Sreenivasan hacked to death by SDPI goons@CPIMKerala rule turning the state into a killing field.
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No Law & Order
No security for citizens
Killers go scot-free. Shame! pic.twitter.com/VOfxJKrkeO
— V Muraleedharan / വി മുരളീധരൻ (@VMBJP) December 19, 2021
The SDPI, political wing of the Popular Front of India (PFI), has accused the workers of the BJP’s ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or RSS, of engineering the attack, however, district leaders of the RSS denied any role.
“The RSS is trying to create mayhem by eliminating political opponents and silencing minority community members. It is a well planned and executed murder,” said Popular Front state president CP Mohammad Basheer. Police said they have identified the vehicles used in both the attacks.
Congress leader Ramesh Chennithalaas asked leaders to rein in their workers and blamed police for recurring political murders. “It seems both are planned killings. Police should give a free hand to investigate such murders,” he said. CPI(M) leader J Chittaranjan, a local legislator, said parties should shed politics of violence.
Party chief MK Faizy tweeted, “It’s part of Sangh Parivar agenda to create communal violence & disrupt the communal harmony in the state. Condemn RSS terrorism. The indifferent attitude of Kerala Police acts as a shot in the arm for RSS”
Lethal attack on KS Shan, SDPI Kerala State Secretary is RSS terrorism. It’s part of Sangh Parivar agenda to create communal violence & disrupt the communal harmony in the state. Condemn RSS terrorism. The indifferent attitude of Kerala Police acts as a shot in the arm for RSS
— MK Faizy (@MKFaisy) December 18, 2021
In a second tweet, he said “Govt shud initiate strong measures 2 curb RSS rampage in d state & ensure peaceful life 4 the people (sic)”.
Earlier, an RSS worker, S Sanjith, was allegedly killed by the workers of the SDPI on November 15.