A BJP state leader was hacked to death in Kerala’s Alappuzha district early morning on Sunday, hours after a state-level leader of the Social Democratic Party of India, the political arm of Popular Front of India, was killed in the same district.
Police said BJP OBC Morcha state secretary advocate Ranjith Sreenivas was attacked in Alappuzha city early morning at his house. A gang stormed into his house and hacked him several times when he was getting ready for his morning walk. Ranjith had contested the recent assembly elections as a BJP candidate.
SDPI state secretary KS Shan was attacked by a gang on 18 December night. While he was riding a two-wheeler, he was hit by a car. The assailants stepped out of the vehicle and hacked Shan several times. He was rushed to a local hospital in Alappuzha, later to a Kochi hospital, where he died around midnight.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, in a statement, deplored the killings in Alappuzha. “There would be stringent police action to nab the assailants as well as those who worked behind the heinous killings. Such criminal activities are detrimental to society. I am sure that people would isolate the criminal elements and their hateful attitude,” said Vijayan.
Alappuzha district police superintendent G Jaidev said police are looking into whether the killings are related and retaliatory in nature.
“A few persons have been taken into custody in connection with the killings. There was no laxity on the part of police to monitor the situation after the last day’s killing (of SDPI leader). We had deployed more force in several areas after the Saturday night’s killing, but could not prevent the Sunday’s killing,” he said.
The SP said that prohibitory orders are in place in the district for two days. Police deployment has been strengthened on the premises of Government Medical College in Kochi, where the body of the SDPI leader KS Shan is kept. A large number of SDPI men are camping at the premises of the medical college hospital.
Alappuzha legislator and CPM leader PP Chitharanjan said the killings have shocked him as both victims were known to him personally.
Ten km away from Alappuzha district headquarters, Mannacherry, where the SDPI leader was killed on Saturday night, is a stronghold of SDPI/PFI.