All the 12 accused, suspected to have been directly involved in the recent murder of BJP functionary Ranjith Sreenivas in Alappuzha, have been identified but they have managed to escape from Kerala, police said on Thursday, December 23, while the arrest of another person was recorded in the murder of SDPI's KS Shan for allegedly providing logistic support to the killers. Special police teams were deployed to track down the absconding culprits and the probe has been extended outside the state, ADGP (Law and Order) Vijay Sakhare told reporters.
The senior IPS officer, who heads the Special Investigation Team probing the back to back murder cases of Sreenivas and Shan, however, said they have got relevant information regarding the conspiracy in both cases but could not divulge the details as it would adversely impact the investigation. "All the 12 accused, directly involved in the murder of Sreenivas, have been identified. But, none of them are in the state now. We are chasing them. They will land in police custody soon," he said.
“It is sure that the killers had received external support to go into hiding and the police was examining the details,” he said. Asked about the SDPI's allegations against frequent police searches in the houses of party activists and sympathisers, he said raids would continue in the suspected hideouts of the accused as it was important to nab the culprits. "We have to maintain that the law and order situation is not broken down. For that, raids are important," he said.
An ambulance, suspected to have been used by the culprits involved in the Shan murder case, was seized by the police and its scientific and forensic examination would be carried out soon, he said. "It is a cat and mouse game now. Every accused is in hiding but we will nab them at any cost," the senior officer added.
Shan, the state secretary of SDPI, was killed by a gang on Saturday night while he was on his way back home, while BJP OBC Morcha state secretary Sreenivas was hacked to death in front of his family by some assailants in his house on Sunday morning. Five alleged SDPI sympathisers had been arrested in connection with the murder of Sreenivas so far while the arrest of three persons has been recorded in the death of Shan, according to police.