BJP leader killed in front of daughter: ‘When she came running, gang brandished sword’

Ranjith returned home on Sunday morning after leaving his elder daughter, Bhagya, at her tuition classes. For the family, nothing seemed suspicious then.

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On Sunday morning, Vinodini, mother of state BJP leader Ranjith Sreenivas, was gone to the local temple for a pooja. “Brother (Ranjith) was supposed to attend the first meeting of the committee of (BJP) OBC Morcha in Kochi. The day should have been celebratory one of our family…” his brother Abhijith, an IT professional, said.

Ranjith was killed on Sunday, reportedly by SDPI activists in vengeance to the murder of their state secretary, K S Shan, the night before.

Ranjith returned home on Sunday morning after leaving his elder daughter, Bhagya, at her tuition classes. For the family, nothing seemed suspicious then.

“There was no reason for Ranjith to panic,” said an acquaintance at the family’s home on Monday. “He had never been involved in any criminal case. (But) when an SDPI state-level leader (Shan) was killed, the retaliating gang was looking for a BJP leader of the same stature…”

Known as a suave face of the BJP in Alappuzha, Ranjith was to start a new innings in his political career on Sunday, after he was made the state secretary of BJP’s state OBC Morcha.

Abhijith said his brother was beaten with a hammer on the head and hacked mindlessly by the gang, which also vandalized the house. The gang, he said, hacked Ranjith to death and disfigured his face with multiple wounds in the presence of his mother, wife and younger daughter.

“When she came running to the drawing room, the gang brandished a sword against her. When my mother fell down in the attack, the gang pressed a chair against her face,’’ he said.

Ranjith, who rose as a leader from fishermen caste Dheevara, was a lawyer; his wife Lisha, too, is an advocate in Alappuzha.

The BJP worker’s body was cremated in the premises of the family’s ancestral house at Arattupuzha in the district on Monday evening.

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