As the State witnessed the killing of two leaders of the Hindu Munnani and Bhartiya Janata Party in one month, political parties demanded stringent action to put an end to political killings.

The latest incident – the murder of the BJP’s state secretary V. Ramesh in Salem on Friday – took place 19 days after the murder of Hindu Munnani leader S. Vellaiyappan in Vellore.

In a statement here, TNCC president B.S. Gnanadesikan said mercenaries were behind the murders and it was the responsibility of the government to trace the root cause of the murders and nip the trend in the bud.

“Poor rate of conviction is the prime issue here. The mercenaries are not afraid of the police and courts. Proper inquiry and strengthening of evidence against the killers will uphold the rule of law,” Mr. Gnanadesikan said.

Pattali Makkal Katchi leader S. Ramadoss said that in the last nine months, the BJP and its sister organisations had lost four leaders in a similar fashion.

The failure to secure even one person in connection with the murders had exposed inefficiency of the police.

He alleged that the law and order situation in the State had deteriorated since the AIADMK government assumed office and the murders could have been averted if the police channelised its energy properly instead of targeting the PMK cadre.

BJP’s national spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman demanded that the dangerous drift towards political attacks and killings be stopped immediately.

Besides demanding a special investigation team to probe each one of the murders, she wanted protection to her party’s leaders in the State.

S. Vedantam, advisor, Vishva Hindu Parishad, called upon Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to take serious note of the situation.

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