A Kerala court on Tuesday sentenced to death 15 persons associated with the now-banned Muslim group Popular Front of India (PFI) in connection with the murder of Bharatiya Janata Party OBC wing leader Ranjith Sreenivasan in Alappuzha district in December 2021.
The sentence was pronounced by Mavelikkara additional district judge VG Sreedevi, news agency PTI reported.
The prosecution had sought the maximum sentence for the convicts, saying that they were a “trained killer squad” and the manner in which the victim was killed in front of his family brings it within the ambit of the “rarest of the rarest” of crimes.
Ranjith Sreenivasan, the BJP OBC Morcha state secretary, was killed in his home on December 19, 2021, allegedly by activists affiliated with PFI and Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI).
The BJP leader’s murder occurred just hours after Social Democratic Party of India state secretary KS Shan was killed allegedly by BJP and RSS activists on the night of December 18, 2021, while he was returning home in Alappuzha.
All accused in the Shan murder were released on bail, and the prosecution did not oppose it. Unlike the draconian charges, such as UAPA in the Sreenivasan murder case, no similar charges were filed in the Shan murder case.