NIA arrests key accused in Kerala RSS leader murder case

NIA arrests key accused in Kerala RSS leader murder case

New Delhi | The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested Shafeekh, a key accused in the 2022 murder case of RSS leader Srinivasan in Kerala, according to an official statement issued on Tuesday.

Shafeekh, who had been absconding since the targeted killing of Srinivasan in Palakkad on April 16, 2022, was traced by the NIA's absconder tracking team in the state's Kollam district, it said.

He was taken into custody by the anti-terror agency for his involvement in the case on Monday, the NIA said in the statement.

Shafeekh was a key absconding member of the banned Popular Front of India (PFI), it said.

A total of 71 people have been identified as being part of the conspiracy and the NIA has already filed two charge-sheets -- on March 17 and November 6 last year.

One of the accused, identified as Abdul Naser, had died on January 2 last year, while two absconders -- Saheer K V and Jaffar Bheemantavida -- were arrested on October 19 last year and February 12, respectively, the NIA said.

A resident of Kerala's Malappuram district, Shafeekh was part of the PFI machinery and hit squads that had carried out the killing of Srinivasan.

According to investigations, he had harboured Ashraf K P, who under directions from the PFI leadership, had conspired with members of the organisation to execute the conspiracy, the NIA said, adding that Ashraf had also conducted a recce of various potential targets for elimination.

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