Kerala: Section 144 in Alappuzha after BJP, SDPI leaders' killing
Unrest has gripped Kerala's Alappuzha after the killings of a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and a Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) leader. Kerala SDPI Secretary KS Shan was killed Saturday night while BJP OBC Morcha state secretary advocate Ranjith was killed Sunday morning. Both parties blamed each other for the killings while prohibitory orders have been issued across the Alappuzha district.
- The two killings have sent political tensions soaring in Kerala.
- Although a police investigation is still underway, political leaders have started pointing fingers at each other.
- As yet, it is unclear if the killings are related.
- The killings have also drawn criticism toward Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his Left Democratic Front (LDF) government just months after winning the 2021 elections.
Shan was attacked by a gang Saturday night. The assailants first hit his two-wheeler with a car before alighting from the vehicle and hacking him to death. He was moved to a nearby hospital in Alappuzha and shifted to another facility in Kochi where he died. Sreenivas was hacked to death at his house Sunday morning as he was leaving for his morning walk.
The police are reportedly investigating whether the killings are related and retaliatory. A few suspects have been identified and taken into custody. In light of the killings, security has been tightened in the region. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC)—barring the gathering of more than four persons in an area—have been imposed in the Alappuzha district for two days.
CM Vijayan said, "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."
Kerala BJP President K Surendran blamed the Popular Front of India (PFI), the banned outfit linked to the SDPI. BJP leaders also criticized the Vijayan-led LDF government for the lack of law and order. Union Minister V Muralidharaan blamed "Islamic terror groups" and "lawlessness" in Kerala. SDPI President MK Faizi blamed the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)—the BJP's ideological parent.