Judge VG Sreedevi of Mavelikkara Additional District Sessions Court, who sentenced all fifteen accused in the Advocate Ranjith Sreenivasan’s murder case to capital punishment, is now under police protection due to cyber threats from alleged terrorists linked to the banned Popular Front of India (PFI). Concerns over the judge’s safety prompted the Kerala Government to provide police protection. The move aims to safeguard the judge from potential harm arising from cyber threats. The brutal murder of Advocate Ranjith Sreenivasan, the state secretary of Bharatiya Janata OBC Morcha, was detailed in this journal’s report on January 30.
In response to alarming cyber threats, the judge presiding over the Ranjith Sreenivasan murder case, V.G. Sreedevi, will now be safeguarded by a team of five policemen, including a sub-inspector. The intensified security measures come after cyberattacks were orchestrated by alleged terrorists affiliated with the banned Popular Front of India (PFI) and its political outfit, the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI). The judgement, notable for awarding capital punishment to all fifteen accused, has been deemed a watershed moment, marking the first of its kind in Kerala and the third in the entire country.
Public Prosecutor Pratap G Padikkal revealed that he too has faced numerous cyberattacks following the groundbreaking judgement.
While initial suspicions linked the murder of an SDPI worker to the killing of Renjith Sreenivasan, the prosecution successfully refuted this in court. Evidence presented included a hit list found on the mobile phone of the third accused in the Renjith murder case, leading the court to conclude that the murder was meticulously planned. The inhumane nature of the crime, committed in front of the victim’s mother, wife, and young children, played a pivotal role in the decision to award the death penalty.
Reports suggest that the police are preparing a second charge sheet against the 15 accused, including those implicated in destroying evidence.
This situation echoes a past incident where a judge faced death threats after delivering a judgement in the infamous murder of Jayakrishnan Master on December 1, 1999. The judge, who later underwent multiple transfers, continued to live under police protection. Ranjith Sreenivasan’s brutal killing on December 19, 2021, in front of his mother, wife, and children draws parallels, underscoring the gravity of the threat faced by the judiciary in cases of heinous crimes.