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Fifteen Men in Kerala Receive Death Sentences for BJP Leader's Murder

Fifteen Men in Kerala Receive Death Sentences for BJP Leader’s Murder

In the southern Indian state of Kerala, a court has handed down death sentences to 15 men convicted for the murder of Ranjith Sreenivasan, a local leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The incident, which occurred in 2021, was characterized as a retaliatory killing. Authorities identified the 15 convicts as affiliated with the Popular Front of India (PFI), a controversial Muslim group that was banned in 2022.

The verdict was delivered by a sessions court in Alappuzha district on January 20. The individuals sentenced to death have the option to appeal in a higher court. Following the announcement of the death penalty, Lisha Sreenivasan, the wife of the victim, expressed relief, although acknowledging the irreparable loss suffered by the family.

Ranjith Sreenivasan was brutally attacked and killed at his Alappuzha residence on December 19, 2021, in the presence of his mother, wife, and daughter. The police investigation revealed that eight of the convicted individuals were directly involved in the murder, while others acted as guards outside the house, armed with weapons.


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Among the convicts, some were associated with the PFI, while others were linked to its political arm, the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI). In 2022, the BJP-led federal government imposed a five-year ban on the PFI, citing alleged connections with terror groups.

The murder of Sreenivasan occurred shortly after the killing of KS Shan, an SDPI leader in Alappuzha. An investigative report suggested that Shan’s murder was in retaliation for the killing of an activist from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological parent organization of the Hindu nationalist BJP.

A police chargesheet filed a few months after Shan’s murder implicated 21 individuals, including five RSS workers who were arrested but later released on bail. The trial for that case is scheduled to commence next month. The consecutive murders of Sreenivasan and Shan sent shockwaves through Kerala, capturing national attention.

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