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Kerala police arrest two in connection with SDPI leader's killing

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The Kerala police have arrested two people in connection with the death of Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) leader K S Shan and claimed “substantial lead” in the investigation into the murder of BJP’s OBC Morcha’s Ranjith Sreenivas.

This comes a day after Alappuzha was rocked by back-to-back killings of the two party leaders.

ADGP (Law and Order) Vijay Sakhare, who is heading the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the two separate cases, said the preliminary investigation revealed that there were 10 accused in the killing of Shan on Saturday night.

While Prasad and Ratheesh were arrested in connection with the killing of the SDPI state secretary, eight other people involved in the crime have been identified, and police teams have been deputed to nab them.

Sakhare said that the arrested man, Prasad, was the main organiser of the murder of Shan. “He allegedly organised men, vehicle and planned the killing of Shan,” Sakhare said.

Also read: Twin political murders rock Alappuzha; prohibitory orders for two days

Police is also probing if there was any larger conspiracy behind the killing of the SDPI leader.

Sakhare also spoke about the progress made in the investigation into the killing of BJP’s OBC Morcha’s state secretary Sreenivas, claiming “concrete clues” about the assailants.

Sakahre said that the police have got a “substantial lead” about 12 people involved in the killing of Sreenivas, and their identities are being verified.

Sakhare refused to provide more details but said that the police is also probing if there were larger conspiracy behind the killing and if it is established, the people who participated in it would also be brought before law.

Following the killing of the SDPI state secretary Shan late Saturday night, BJP leader Sreenivas was hacked to death less than 12 hours later on Sunday morning.

Meanwhile, state police chief Anil Kant on Monday directed his force to take precautionary measures in the wake of the recent incidents in Alappuzha.

The entire police force of the state will be deployed for this. “Police officers will be allowed leave only in emergency situations,” a statement issued by the office of the State Police Chief said.

Kant has also directed the police to tighten vehicle inspections for day as well as night in the state and set up necessary police pickets in problematic areas.

“Anti-social elements wanted in connection with various offences will be nabbed,” police said.

Prohibitory orders under CrPC Section 144 were imposed in the entire Alappuzha district and additional police forces were deployed there and senior officers camped there to monitor the law-and-order situation.

SDPI state secretary K.S. Shan was buried in a cemetry near his residence on Sunday evening, after his body was kept for public viewing.

Also read: Union home minister accuses Kerala govt of shielding BJP leader’s killers

Cremation of the BJP OBC Morcha’s state secretary Ranjith Sreenivas, who was hacked to death at his home on Sunday morning, will be done on Monday. “His body has been handed over to the party leaders after post-mortem,” police said.

According to sources, an all-party meeting convened by the Alappuzha district Collector on Monday afternoon has been postponed to tomorrow after the BJP expressed inconvenience.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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