Meanwhile, the opposition attacked the ruling CPI(M) over the "deteriorating" law and order situation in the state.

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news Crime Tuesday, December 21, 2021 - 10:18

The Kerala police on Monday, December 20, said two people have been arrested in connection with the death of SDPI's KS Shan and claimed "substantial lead" in the investigation into the murder of BJP's OBC Morcha's Ranjith Sreenivas, even as the opposition attacked the ruling CPI(M) over the "deteriorating" law and order situation in the state.

After paying homage to slain BJP OBC Morcha leader in Alappuzha on Monday, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai alleged that the law and order system in Kerala “has come to an end which is why killings over political differences are taking place in the state.” He asked the LDF government to prevent any further attacks against BJP leaders and workers.

Slamming the Left government, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly VD Satheesan alleged that there is a serious situation where neither Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who is holding the Home portfolio, nor the Chief of State Police has any control over the police force.

In a statement, the ruling CPI(M) alleged that the attacks and killings were "part of a conspiracy to disrupt peace" in the state. As the political parties engaged in blame game over the killings, ADGP (Law and Order) Vijay Sakhare, who is heading the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the two separate cases, said two persons were arrested in connection with the killing of SDPI leader and efforts are on to nab those who killed the BJP leader.

He said 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 deputed to nab them, the senior officer said. Sakhare said Prasad allegedly organised men, vehicles and planned the killing. Police are also probing if there was any larger conspiracy behind the killing of the SDPI leader.

Read: More killings will only create more orphans: Father of murdered 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. He said the police have got a "substantial lead" about 12 people involved in the killing of Sreenivas. Their identities are being verified, the senior police official said. Sakhare refused to provide more details but said "police are also probing if there was a 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 late on Saturday night, BJP leader Sreenivas, a practicing lawyer, was hacked to death at his home less than 12 hours later on Sunday morning. The state's ruling CPI(M) demanded an immediate end to the brutal politics of mutual murder "perpetrated by two communal forces" to disrupt peace in the state.

"It is astonishing that the murderous forces themselves have come down to blame the LDF goverment over the issue," the CPI(M) state secretariat said in a statement. Referring to BJP national president JP Nadda's statement that Kerala has become a lawless state, the CPI(M) said it underscores the saffron party's political objective. It also alleged that the leaders of the BJP and the Congress were speaking in a similar voice to target the LDF government.

Stating that the double murder in Alappuzha was not a political killing but a communal murder, Leader of Opposition Satheesan alleged that the state government has failed to stop violent activities of "communal forces like the RSS and the SDPI in the state." "If the Chief Minister tries to continue communal appeasement for temporary political gains, Kerala society will face serious repercussions," he said.

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 police to tighten vehicle inspections day and night and set up necessary police pickets in problematic areas.

Prohibitory orders under CrPC Section 144 were imposed in Alappuzha district and additional police forces were deployed and senior officers camped there to monitor the law and order situation. Ranjith Sreenivas's cremation was held at his ancestral home in the district on Monday evening. Hundreds of people had gathered at his residence to pay their last respects.

Read: Kerala political murders: CCTV captures alleged assailants who attacked BJP leader

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