Members of the Popular Front of India and its political offshoot Social Democratic Party of India as well as the Bharatiya Janata Party-Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh were among those involved in the two recent back-to-back murders in Palakkad district, the Kerala police said on Monday.
ADGP (law and order) Vijay Sakhare, speaking to reporters in Palakkad, said the police has identified the culprits involved in the murder of PFI leader Subair (43) on April 15, and arrests would be made soon.
Regarding the killing of RSS leader S K Srinivasan (45), Sakhare said all the culprits have been almost identified and it has been found that they are in hiding.
Once their locations are identified, arrests would be made in that case also, he said and added that presently no one was in custody.
He also told reporters that besides digital clues like CCTV footage and mobile locations, human intelligence was also used to identify and trace those involved in the two murders which led to the imposition of prohibitory orders in the district till April 20 and holding of an all-party meeting there.
He further said that among the culprits identified so far, there were party members from both PFI-SDPI and BJP-RSS.
On Sunday, Sakhare had said, "There is a conspiracy behind both murders. We will find out who is behind it. The killers were only foot soldiers."
He had also refuted allegations that the police failed to prevent the RSS leader's murder, on Saturday, despite there being a possibility of retaliation after the murder of Subair the previous day, saying it was "very very difficult" to prevent a planned murder and both the killings were "well planned".
Srinivasan, a former district leader and office-bearer of the RSS, was attacked by a six-member gang at his motorbike shop in Melamuri near Palakkad on Saturday, barely 24 hours after Subair was hacked to death at Elappully in the district while he was returning home along with his father after offering prayers in a mosque on Friday afternoon.
A local RSS leader, Sanjith, was murdered in the same area, as was Subair, five months ago allegedly by SDPI workers.
The PFI has alleged that Subair was murdered by RSS workers.
The back-to-back killings involving BJP/RSS and SDPI/PFI is the second such incident in the past few months in Kerala.
In December last year in Alappuzha, a leader of SDPI and a leader of BJP were murdered within 24 hours.