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Kerala’s coastal Alappuzha district was rocked by back-to-back killings of two party leaders, the first belonging to the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) and the second to the BJP, leading to clamping of prohibitory order by police on Sunday. Following the killing of an SDPI state secretary, a BJP leader was hacked to death subsequently in 12 hours and prohibitory order under CrPC section 144 was imposed in the entire Alappuzha district on Sunday, district officials said.

K S Shan, the state secretary of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) in Kerala, was brutally attacked on Saturday night while he was on his way back home and his party alleged that the RSS was behind it.Shan succumbed to his injuries at a Kochi hospital around midnight, police said.

Less than 12 hours later, a popular BJP leader, Ranjith Sreenivasan, state secretary of the OBC Morcha, was killed after attackers barged into his residence in Alappuzha. His wife and mother were at the residence at the time of the killing of the advocate.

Ranjith, who is a practicing advocate at Alappuzha bar was the BJP candidate at Alappuzha Assembly constituency.

Police said it suspects the fatal attack on Ranjith, also a member of the BJP state committee, was in retaliation to the killing of Shan. With the BJP’s leader’s killing, prohibitory order was clamped.

Senior Congress leader and former Kerala Home Minister, Ramesh Chennithala condemned the attacks. “Both BJP and SDPI must stop these retaliatory killings and this is not politics. Kerala Police under the CPI-M has turned into a major failure and the state home department and police did not take any precautions even after there were local-level issues pertaining to both the organisations. Senior leaders of both the organisations have been killed and police are watching the game from the gallery,” Chennithala told IANS.

BJP Alappuzha district president, Gopakumar  said, “SDPI is into a killing spree and Ranjith Sreenivasan was a popular advocate and a senior leader of the BJP at Alappuzha district. It is indeed shocking and the police have failed miserably in containing the violence. SDPI has been trying to play with the blood of innocent BJP, RSS workers and they started the killing by murdering ABVP leader Nandu a few months back. This has to be stopped otherwise Alappuzha district would turn into a battlefield.”

(With inputs from PTI)

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