Death penalty for 15 PFI members in Kerala for BJP leader Ranjith Sreenivasan’s murder

All 15 accused in the December 2021 murder of BJP leader Renjith Sreenivasan have been sentenced to death by a lower court in Alappuzha.

| Updated: 30 January, 2024 2:44 pm IST

MAVELIKKARA: All 15 accused in the December 2021 murder of BJP leader Renjith Sreenivasan have been sentenced to death by a lower court in Alappuzha. Mavelikkara Additional District Judge V G Sreedevi delivered the verdict, stating that the killing of Renjith was a retaliatory act by Popular Front of India (PFI) members seeking vengeance for the murder of SDPI’s state secretary K S Shan the night before.

Renjith Sreenivasan, an advocate and the state secretary of BJP’s OBC Morcha, was brutally attacked in his home in Alappuzha municipality on December 19, 2021, by people associated with PFI and Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI). The shocking incident occurred in the presence of his family members during the early hours of the day.

The special investigation into the case was initially led by a team under Alappuzha DySP N R Jayaraj. Special Public Prosecutor Prathap G Padickkal and advocates Sreedevi Prathap, Shilpa Sivan, and Hareesh Kattoor represented the prosecution side.

The court meticulously examined 156 witnesses, approximately 1,000 documents, and a hundred pieces of evidence throughout the proceedings.

The accused PFI and SDPI activists have been identified as Naisam, Ajmal, Anoop, Muhammad Aslam, Abdul Kalam alias Salam, Abdul Kalam, Sarafudheen, Manshad, Jaseeb Raj, Navas, Sameer, Nazeer, Zakir Hussain, Shaji, and Shernaz Ashraf.

Reacting to the court’s decision, senior BJP leader and Union Minister, V Muraleedharan, described it as ‘Justice to Renjith’ and expressed gratitude to the judiciary for providing justice to the Sreenivasan family. He also noted the verdict’s revelation of connections between terrorist elements and the Kerala government, which opposed the central government’s ban on the PFI.

“The verdict has once again exposed the deep-rooted connections between terrorist elements and the ruling Kerala government, which opposed the government of India’s ban of the PFI”, he tweeted.

The family of the deceased has alo expressed satisfaction with the verdict. Renjith’s widow acknowledged the enormity of their loss but expressed deep gratitude to the court for imposing the maximum punishment on the accused. After 770 days since the crime, they felt the wait was worthwhile, and they extended special thanks to the prosecution and the police for their support.

“It’s been 770 days since this crime took place and after hearing the verdict, we feel our wait was worth it. Special thanks to the prosecution and the police who stood with us,” Renjith’s wife said.

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