The trial in the Ranjith Sreenivas murder case began at Additional District Court-I, Mavelikkara, on Monday. After the prosecution hearing, Judge Sreedevi V.G. posted the case to December 12 for the next hearing.
The police have named 15 people, including 12 assailants, in the chargesheet filed before the court. The trial in the case was initially scheduled to take place at the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court, Alappuzha. However, the accused demanded to shift the case outside the district after they found it difficult to find counsel to represent them. Advocates in Alappuzha refused to represent the accused in the case citing their closeness to Sreenivas, who himself was a lawyer practising at Alappuzha courts. After considering their plea, the High Court shifted the trial to the Mavelikara court.
Sreenivas, who was the State secretary of Bharatiya Janata Party’s OBC Morcha, was hacked to death by a gang in his house at Vellakinar in Alappuzha municipality on December 19, 2021. According to the police, the killing of Sreenivas was a retaliatory strike by the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) men to avenge the murder of SDPI’s State secretary K. S. Shan the night before. Shan was attacked by assailants at Kuppezham Junction near Mannancherry in Alappuzha on December 18. He succumbed to his injuries a few hours later. Shan was targeted in retribution for the murder of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) worker Nandukrishna by SDPI men at Vayalar near Cherthala on February 24, 2021.
The police filed the chargesheet in the Shan murder case before the Judicial First Class Magistrate in March this year. The trial in the case is expected to begin soon.