Kerala Killings: RSS Leader Hacked To Death In Palakkad, Second Political Murder In 24 Hours

The RSS leader's murder has come within 24 hours of a PFI leader's killing. It's being seen as retaliation by the police.

S K Srinivasan

Kerala's Palakkad district on Saturday reported a second political killing within 24 hours as six bike-borne men hacked to death a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh leader at his shop in Melamuri area. 

The diseased, identified as 45-year-old SK Srinivasan, was an RSS office-bearer and a former district leader. CCTV footage aired by television channels showed attackers arriving at the shop on three motorcycles and attacking Srinivasan.

Less than 24 hours ago, 43-year-old Subair, a local leader of the Islamist outfit Popular Front of India, was allegedly hacked to death in front of his father. The police suspect Srinivasan's killing is in retaliation to Subair's murder.

The BJP alleged that Srinivasan's killing was carried out by the Social Democratic Party of India, which is the political arm of PFI.

The PFI blamed the killing of their leaer on RSS, a charge the Bharatiya Janata Party denied. However, the police on Saturday took into custory four RSS workers in connection with Subair's killing, according to reports. The police have also found the car in which Subair's attackers fled the crime spot.

A manhunt has been launched by the police to arrest the culprits. Kerala Police's Additional Director General (Law and Order) Vijay Sakhare will reach Palakkad and camp there to coordinate with the investigation into the two political murders which took place within a span of 24 hours.

A senior official told PTI that police presence has been increased in the district in the wake of the killings. The officer said, "Three companies of Kerala Armed Police-1 (KAP-1) have been directed to move to Palakkad."

Around 270 members of the armed police battalion will camp in Palakkad as part of security measures.

Following the two killings, the Congress party said that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's appeasement politics is responsible for it. 

Kerala assembly's Leader of Opposition VD Satheesan said, "All these killings are the result of the communal appeasement being done by the Chief Minister in the name of social engineering. The government does not have the power to oppose anyone."

With PTI inputs