15 PFI workers get death sentence by Kerala court in local BJP leader murder case

News Network
January 30, 2024

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Alappuzha, Jan 30: A Kerala court on Tuesday, January 30, sentenced to death 15 persons associated with the now-banned Popular Front of India (PFI) in connection with the murder of BJP’s OBC wing local leader Ranjith Sreenivasan in this district in 2021, the special prosecutor of the case said here.

The sentence was pronounced by Mavelikkara Additional District Judge V G Sreedevi.

The family of the slain leader and the BJP welcomed the judgement, with the saffron party hailing Sreenivasan as a "great martyr" who got justice today.

Responding to the court verdict, BJP state president K Surendran said the deceased Sreenivasan "got justice."

"Finally truth prevails— Ranjith Sreenivasan, the great martyr got justice today...we are happy with the judgement," and welcome it wholeheartedly, he added.

According to special prosecutor Prathap G Padickal, although 14 out of the total of 15 persons convicted in the case were produced before the court on Tuesday, the judge orally stated that the sentence would also apply to the convict who was not produced today.

When the remaining convict, who is currently hospitalised due to an illness, is produced in court, the sentence against him will be pronounced, he said.

The court had convicted the 15 men on January 20.

Reacting to the verdict, the family of Sreenivasan said they were satisfied with it.

"This was an exceptionally rare case, and our loss is immense. We express our gratitude to the prosecution and investigating officers for conducting a thorough and honest investigation into the incident, ultimately resulting in the imposition of the maximum punishment," Sreenivasan's wife told reporters.

The prosecution had sought the maximum sentence for the convicts, saying they were a "trained killer squad" and the cruel and diabolical manner in which the victim was killed in front of his mother, infant, and wife brings it within the ambit of the "rarest of the rarest" of crimes.

Sreenivasan, the BJP OBC Morcha state secretary, was brutally attacked and killed in his home on December 19, 2021, in front of his family, by activists affiliated with PFI and Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), according to the police. 

According to the prosecutor, the court found that out of the 15, accused one to eight were directly involved in the case.

It also found four men (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 offense of murder under IPC Section 149 (Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), Padickal said.

The court found three persons (Accused number 13 to 15) who hatched the conspiracy for this crime to be convicted of murder.

As a result, the court had found all the 15 accused in the case guilty of murder.

They were also found guilty under various other sections of the Indian Penal Code.

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News Network
February 27,2024

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Bengaluru: The ruling Congress in Karnataka won three seats and the BJP one in the Rajya Sabha elections in Karnataka on Tuesday.

Those who were elected to the Upper House are Ajay Maken, G C Chandrasekhar and Syed Naseer Hussain, all belonging to the Congress, and Narayansa K Bhandage of the BJP.

Five candidates were in the fray for the four seats in the elections, including JD(S) contestant D Kupendra Reddy.

The elections were marred by cross-voting. While one of the BJP MLAs, S T Somashekar, voted for the Congress's Maken, the other, A Shivaram Hebbar, abstained.

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News Network
February 27,2024

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Bengaluru: An FIR has been registered against the JD(S) leader contesting the Rajya Sabha elections in Karnataka, D Kupendra Reddy, and his aides at the Vidhana Soudha police station in Bengaluru, former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy said on Tuesday.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah too confirmed that an FIR has been registered for 'threatening' the Congress MLAs in connection with the Rajya Sabha elections.

“The Congress leaders not only spoke about allurement and threat to their MLAs time and again but also registered an FIR against Kupendra Reddy and his aides,” the JD(S) second-in-command told reporters here.

Kumaraswamy said the complainant MLA did not say that he was lured, but that some other MLAs were 'approached'.

“Melukote MLA Darshan Puttannaiah of Karnataka Sarvodaya Paksha too had said that it’s true that his vote was sought but no one had lured him,” the JD(S) state chief claimed.

Kumaraswamy also said the BJP and JD(S) had decided that the votes of its 19 JD(S) MLAs and the additional BJP votes after its first preferential votes would go to Kupendra Reddy.

Siddaramaiah slammed the Janata Dal (Secular) for allegedly trying to lure Congress legislators to get its candidate Kupendra Reddy elected.

“JDS needs 45 votes (for their candidate) to win. Do they have that many votes? Even though they don’t have enough votes, they still fielded the candidate and are luring our MLAs. Do they have a conscience?” the chief minister asked rhetorically, posting on social media platform X.

“An FIR has been lodged regarding the threat to us. Our three candidates will win. There is no doubt about this,” Siddaramaiah insisted, without elaborating who, the FIR is against and where it has been registered.

Speaking to reporters at Vidhana Soudha here, Siddaramaiah slammed the minor partner in the opposition alliance, saying, “When JD(S) does not have ‘atma’ (soul), how can it have ‘atma sakshi’ (conscience)? They call themselves Janata Dal (Secular) but whom did they join with?”

He was referring to the JD(S) forming an alliance with the BJP.

The chief minister did not rule out the possibility of gaining votes from the rival camp saying the good works of his government may draw votes from the other side.

On the JD(S) allegations that the Congress had approached its party MLAs, Siddaramaiah said when the Congress has sufficient number of MLAs, there is no need to lure legislators from the opposition.

Voting is under way for four Rajya Sabha seats in Karnataka. The ruling Congress has fielded former union minister and Congress treasurer Ajay Maken and sitting Rajya Sabha members G C Chandrashekhar and Syed Naseer Hussain.

The BJP has fielded Narayansa Bhandage and also JD(S) leader Kupendra Reddy as the NDA candidate.

The Congress has 133 MLAs, excluding the Speaker, while the BJP and JD(S) have 66 and 19 legislators respectively, in the 223-member House. Others account for four. However, one Congress MLA died on Sunday.

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News Network
February 23,2024

Mangaluru: Coastal security police and Navy intelligence have launched a joint investigation into alleged video purportedly showing a Chinese vessel in the vicinity of the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone, raising concerns over a possible breach.

Early inquiries suggest the video was captured by the captain of a fishing boat departing from Honnavar, which lies on the coast of the Arabian Sea.

The alleged sighting occurred in international waters about 200 nautical miles off the coast of Honnavar.

According to reports, the authorities have identified the vessel as registered in China’s Fuzhou Port. Inspector Victor Naiman of the Coastal Police Force stationed at Kumta is spearheading the investigation. 

With the suspicion of potential espionage, the Indian navy has remained vigilant while the coast guard maintained heightened readiness. 

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