Five persons have been arrested in connection with the recent murder of BJP functionary Ranjith Sreenivas in Kerala‚Äôs Alappuzha, but they were not part of the attack team and were those who provided logistics support to the assailants, police said on Wednesday, December 22, while suspecting a "larger conspiracy" behind his killing and local SDPI leader KS Shan. The arrested were prima facie the sympathisers of SDPI, a senior police officer said.
"There is a larger conspiracy behind the killings of Sreenivas and Shan," said ADGP (Law and Order) Vijay Sakhare, the head of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the two back to back murder cases, which had rocked the state recently. He also said interrogation of the suspects was in progress to identify those who directly participated in the crime.
"The arrested persons were not part of the attack team. But they provided all logistics support to the attackers and participated in the conspiracy. There is good progress in the investigation," he said. The senior IPS officer, however, denied the SDPI leadership's charge that police personnel investigating the case had forced their activists to chant 'Jai Sri Ram'. "I am prepared to quit my job if anyone proves the charge," Sakhare 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. An all-party meeting, which was convened by the state government in the wake of the killings, on Tuesday unanimously condemned the murders and urged every political party to maintain peace.
Amid criticism from the opposition over the alleged lapses on the part of the state police, the government said those involved in the killings would be rounded up and brought to justice. Police on Monday had arrested two persons in connection with the death of Shan and claimed they had obtained a "substantial lead" in the investigation into the murder of Sreenivas.