Kerala court awards death sentence to 15 PFI/SDPI members in BJP leader murder case

It is for the first time in Kerala that so many people have been sentenced to death in a single case.

Kerala court awards death sentence to 15 PFI/SDPI members in BJP leader murder case

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The Mavelikara Additional District Sessions Court-I on Tuesday awarded death penalty to all 15 convicts for brutally murdering BJP leader Ranjith Sreenivas. It is for the first time in Kerala that so many people have been sentenced to death in a single case.

Observing that the case falls under the category of the rarest of rare, Judge Sreedevi V G, awarded death sentence to Naisam, Ajmal, Anoop, Mohammed Aslam, Abdul Kalam alias Salam, Abdul Kalam, Saffaruddin, Manshad, Jaseeb Raja, Navas, Sameer, Nazir, Zakir Hussain, Shaji Poovathungal and Shernas Ashraf.

Ranjith( 45),who was the State secretary of the BJP’s OBC Morcha and a lawyer, was hacked to death most brutally at his house at Vellakinar in Alappuzha municipality on the morning of December 19, 2021. He was murdered in front of his mother, wife and daughter.


The convicts, hailing from various parts of Alappuzha, belong to the now banned Popular Front of India(PFI) and its political arm Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI).

The court had earlier on January 20 convicted all of them under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code- The court found that out of the 15 people accused in the case, one to eight were directly involved in the murder. It had also found four people (accused number nine to 12) guilty of murder because they, along with those directly involved in the crime, came to the spot armed with deadly weapons.Their objective was to prevent Sreenivasan from escaping and stop anyone entering the house after hearing his screams. The court had accepted the prosecution’s argument that they were also liable for the common offence of murder under IPC Section 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object).

The court also convicted for murder three others (accused number 13 to 15) who had hatched the conspiracy to kill Ranjith

The case was investigated by a special team led by 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 examined 156 witnesses, around 1,000 documents, and a hundred pieces of evidence.

Earlier, the trial in the case was transferred to the Mavelikkara court from Alappuzha, based on a High Court order. The High Court moved the case after considering a plea filed by the accused seeking to transfer the trial to another district.

According to the prosecution, the killing of Renjith was a retaliatory attack by the SDPI men to revenge the murder of SDPI’s state secretary K S Shan allegedly by RSS workers the night before. The trigger for the murder of Shan was the killing of RSS worker Nandukrishna by SDPI men at Vayalar in Alappuzha on February 24, 2021

Ranjith’s family expressed satisfaction over the verdict. Ranjith’s wife and mother informed the media that they were happy that justice was served.

“Our loss is irreparable. However, the court verdict is a relief. This cannot be seen as a murder. It is a rarest of rare case, which cannot be included in the category of other murder. We couldn’t even perform his last rites due to the way they mutilated his body. The children, mother and I were witnesses to that heinous crime,” said Ranjith’s wife Lisha

The family extended their gratitude towards the investigative team, led by DySP Jayaraj, and the prosecutor for his diligent work.