Two political leaders from the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Social Democratic Party of India were killed within hours in separate attacks in Kerala’s Alappuzha, prompting authorities on Sunday to impose prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure in the district, reported ANI. The section bans gathering of four or more people in an area.

The police said that Social Democratic Party of India State Secretary KS Shan was murdered on Saturday night while he was returning home, reported the Hindustan Times. A group of persons came out of a car after hitting Shan’s two-wheeler and repeatedly stabbed him, the police added.

The Social Democratic Party of India leader sustained multiple fractures and head injuries. He died at a private hospital in Ernakulam, the police said.

Social Democratic Party of India chief MK Faizi alleged that Shan was killed by members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, reported India Today.

“The RSS is trying to create mayhem by eliminating political opponents and silencing minority community members,” alleged the party’s state president CP Mohammad Basheer. “It is a well planned and executed murder.”

In less than 12 hours, eight assailants stabbed BJP’s Renjith Sreenivasan, who was the secretary of the party’s Other Backward Class unit, on Sunday morning, the police said. He died on his way to hospital.

Union minister V Muraleedharan claimed that according to information he has received, the attack on Sreenivasan was the “handy work of [an] Islamic terrorist group”.

In a tweet, he said Kerala was turning into “killing fields”. Addressing reporters, the minister alleged that the Left government in the state was giving a free hand to Islamic terror groups and this was making things worse.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also condemned the killings. He urged the residents to isolate forces that seek to spread hate and terror in the community, saying that the murders were inimical to the state’s welfare, reported The Hindu.

“The government will not allow anyone to take law into their hands,” Vijayan said. “Such perpetrators will be dealt with sternly”.

The police said they have identified the vehicles used in both the attacks. Alappuzha Superintendent of Police G Jaidev said that officers were looking into whether the killings are related and retaliatory in nature, reported The Indian Express.

“A few persons have been taken into custody in connection with the killings,” Jaidev said. “There was no laxity on the part of police to monitor the situation after the last day’s killing [of Shan]. We had deployed more force in several areas after the Saturday night’s killing, but could not prevent the Sunday’s killing.”

But, Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala blamed the police for the killings. “It seems both are planned killings,” he alleged. “Police should give a free hand to investigate such murders.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader J Chittaranjan said parties in the state should drop politics of violence.