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
May 19,2024

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A senior UN official says around 800,000 people have been "forced to flee" Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip since the Israeli regime began carrying out ground incursions into the refugee-packed city from various axes.

Philippe Lazzarini, the head of UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, made the remarks in a post on X, former Twitter, on Saturday.

"Nearly half of the population of Rafah or 800,000 people are on the road having been forced to flee since the Israeli forces started the military operation in the area on May 6," he said.

The invasion of the city came amid a genocidal war against Gaza by the regime that has so far claimed the lives of more than 35,300 Palestinians.

Around 1.5 million Palestinians had taken refuge in Rafah prior to the incursions, having fled there from the ravages of the war that began following a retaliatory operation against the occupied territories by Gaza’s resistance groups.

The Gazans, who have now left the city, have fled to "the middle areas and [the southern Gaza city of] Khan Younis, including to destroyed buildings," Lazzarini said.

Al-Mawasi, a 14-square-kilometer town on the coast, as well as the central city of Deir el-Balah, were "crammed" with recently displaced people, he added.

"Every time, they are forced to leave behind the few belongings they have ....Every time, they have to start from scratch, all over again."

The Israeli military has, meanwhile, seized the Rafah crossing in southern Gaza, which borders Egypt and serves as the main point of entry for aid supplies, including fuel, into Palestinian territory.

The move came as part of an all-out siege that the regime has been enforcing against the entire Gaza simultaneously with the war.

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News Network
May 17,2024

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Bengaluru: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Friday forecast heavy rainfall and thunderstorms in a few districts of Karnataka and said Bengaluru is likely to witness light to moderate rain and thunderstorms, with temperatures ranging from 30 degree Celsius to 22 degree Celsius in the next 24 hours.

Shivamogga, Chikkamagaluru, Kodagu, Hassan, Mysuru, Mandya, Chamrajanagara, Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts are likely to experience heavy to very heavy rainfalls between May 17 and 21, said C S Patil, Director of Meteorological Centre, India Meteorological Department, Bengaluru.

According to India Meteorological Department, some places in Kodagu, Hassan, Mysuru, Mandya and Tumukuru districts will also witness, gusty winds (40-50 kmph) on May 18.

Moderate rain and thundershowers are also likely in Chikkaballapura, Chitradurga, Davangere, Kolar, Ramanagara and Vijayanagara districts.

IMD also predicts light to moderate rain very likely at some places over Bagalkote, Belagavi, Bidar, Dharwad, Gadag, Haveri, Kalaburgi, Koppal, Raichur and Yadgir districts.

On May 16, Channagiri in Davanagere district received the highest rainfall of 6 cm. 

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News Network
May 23,2024

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Bengaluru: JD(S) patriarch and former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda on Thursday issued a 'stern warning' to his grandson and suspended party MP, Prajwal Revanna, asking him to return to the country and face probe into sexual abuse allegations, while asserting there will be no interference from him or other family members into the enquiry.

He asked Prajwal, the party's Hassan MP who is facing allegations of sexual harassment of many women, to return to India and surrender before the police. Prajwal had flown reportedly to Germany in the last week of April.

The JD(S) supremo reiterated that his grandson should be given the harshest punishment under the law "if found guilty".

"At this juncture, I can do only one thing; I can issue a stern warning to Prajwal and ask him to return from wherever he is and surrender before the police. He should subject himself to the legal process," the 92-year-old veteran politician said in a statement on X (formerly Twitter).

Gowda made it clear it was "not an appeal that I am making, it is a warning that I am issuing".

"If he does not heed this warning, he will have to face my anger and anger of all his family members. The law will take care of the accusations against him, but not listening to the family will ensure his total isolation. If he has any respect left for me, he has to return immediately," Gowda said.

"I wish to also make it clear that I will ensure that there will be no interference in the enquiry against him from me or my family members. There is no emotion in this regard in my mind whatsoever, there is only the cause of justice for those who have suffered as a result of his alleged actions and misdeeds," the former PM added.

He recalled he had spoken to the media about Prajwal Revanna on May 18.

"It took me some time to recover from the shock and pain he (Prajwal) has inflicted on me, my entire family, my colleagues, friends and party workers. I have already said he should be given the harshest punishment under the law if found guilty," the nonagenarian leader said.

Stating that he was aware that people had spoken 'harshest' words against him and his family in the last few weeks, apparently over the issue, Gowda said he would not wish to stop them, criticise them and argue with them saying "that they should have waited until all the facts were found out".

He also cannot convince people that he was unaware of Prajwal's activities, or that he has no desire to shield him, unaware of his movements, and also about his foreign trip.

"I believe in answering to my conscience. I believe in God and I know the Almighty knows the truth," the JD(S) patriarch said.

He also opted "not to comment on political conspiracies, exaggerations, provocations and falsehoods that have been maliciously spread in recent weeks."

"I am very sure people who have done it will have to answer to God and pay for it heavily one day. I place my truth and my burdens at the feet of the Lord," he said.

The former Prime Minister underlined that it was of utmost importance for him to earn back the trust of the people.

"It is of utmost importance to me to earn back the trust of the people. They have stood by me for over 60 years of my political life and I am deeply indebted to them. As long as I am alive, I will never let them down," he said.

Prajwal, who is seeking re-election from Hassan as an NDA candidate, is absconding and is holed up abroad ever since a huge cache of explicit videos become public, showing women being sexually assaulted allegedly by him.

There are two rape cases registered against Prajwal. An arrest warrant has also been issued against him besides a blue corner notice by the Interpol.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has written to the Centre to cancel his diplomatic passport.

Prajwal’s father and Holenarasipura MLA H D Revanna is out on bail in two cases. One is related to molestation of a cook, who was also allegedly raped by Prajwal, and the other relates to the kidnap of a woman.

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