Four arrested for BJP leader’s murder in Kerala

Updated on Dec 22, 2021 04:24 AM IST

On Saturday, police had arrested two workers of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in connection with the murder of SDPI secretary KS Shan.

Two back to back political murders in a relatively peaceful district shocked the state and also exposed alertness of law-enforcement agencies. (HT)
Two back to back political murders in a relatively peaceful district shocked the state and also exposed alertness of law-enforcement agencies. (HT)
By, Thiruvananthapuram

A special investigation team (SIT) of Kerala police probing the double political murder in Alappuzha on Tuesday arrested four workers of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) in connection with killing of BJP OBC Morcha state secretary Renjith Sreenivasan, said additional director general of police (ADGP) Vijay Sakhre.

On Saturday, police had arrested two workers of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in connection with the murder of SDPI secretary KS Shan. Two back to back political murders in relatively peaceful district shocked the state and also exposed alertness of law-enforcement agencies.

Amid uneasy calm a peace meeting was held in the city on Tuesday and participants supported all initiatives to bring back peace in the district. “All parties agreed to work towards a lasting peace in the district and decided to isolate troublemakers. Police will be given a free hand to conduct an independent probe and arrest all accused at the earliest,” said culture minister Saji Cherian.

In the meeting, BJP, RSS leaders insisted for a central agency probe while the SDPI said police were harassing its leaders “to please the Sangh Parivar”. The identities of arrested SDPI leaders were not revealed and two arrested RSS workers were identified as Rajendra Prasad and Ratheesh alias Kuttan.

“We have identified 18 people who directly participated in two murders. Investigation is on right track and there will be more arrests in coming days. We will also arrest those who planned these murders. We will leave no stone unturned,” said the ADGP, who is overseeing the SIT probe.

“We have seized the vehicles used in both murders. Both are well planned and executed killings. There were also plan to foment communal trouble in the district. We will also book those who raised provocative slogans during the last rites,” said another senior officer of the SIT, who wished not to be named.

“Swift retaliation clearly shows both sides were well prepared. Only a foolproof investigation can isolate such forces,” he said, adding that detained include a municipal councilor of the SDPI. He said more than 250 houses of both were raided in last two days.

The opposition Congress has asked the Left government to give a free hand to police. “Of late police stations turned to party cells. Party intervention demoralised the force,” opposition leader V D Satheesan said in Kannur, northen Kerala.

The SDPI has asked police to book RSS leader Valsan Thillankeri in connection with the murder of Shan. “We reiterate that he was part of the conspiracy to kill our leader,” said SDPI leader Ashraf Moulavi.

He also justified the provocative statement that “Shan had attained much-awaited martyrdom” and “it was not an occasion to wail, but an occasion for jubilation since he entered the heaven.”

Many RSS-BJP leaders have sought action against the leader saying “he was talking the language of Islamic State fighters”. But Thillankeri, state-level leader of the RSS, said he was in the district to participate in a function announced much earlier.

Meanwhile, widow of S Sanjith, a RSS worker who was stabbed to death in Palakkad on Nov 15 allegedly SDPI activists, moved the high court on Tuesday seeking a central agency probe. In her plea, S Arshika said she was not happy with the ongoing investigation and more than one month after her husband’s murder main culprits are still at large.

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