A Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh worker was killed allegedly by members of the Social Democratic Party of India in Alappuzha district of Kerala on Wednesday, ANI reported. Eight workers of the Kerala-based outfit have been arrested in connection with the crime.

The state police identified the deceased worker as Nandu alias Rahul Krishna, a resident of Wayalar village panchayat in Alappuzha. The incident took place after clashes broke out between some members of the RSS, which is the ideological mentor of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, and the Kerala-based party .

Two days ago, the Social Democratic Party of India had held a meeting as part of their statewide agitation calling for a boycott of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath’s campaign rallies, according to The Indian Express. The Bharatiya Janata Party had toured Kasaragod district last week to flag off the party’s campaign ahead of the state elections.

On Wednesday, the SDPI conducted another political march in a village in Valayar, where members of the political outfit allegedly made provocative speeches against BJP leaders. The RSS objected to this, and decided to retaliate by taking out their own procession in the area.

Clashes erupted when the two sides came face-to-face, leading to the death of the RSS worker. Three other RSS workers and six SDPI members were also seriously injured in the violence, the police said, according to ANI.

BJP observes 12-hour shutdown

The situation remained tense on Thursday, and a contingent of police was deployed in the area to prevent any further escalation of violence. The Bharatiya Janata Party and other right wing organisations called for a 12-hour shutdown in Alappuzha district to protest the alleged murder.

Visuals from Cherthala town showed shuttered shops and empty roads. “The BJP and other Hindu organisations have called for a hartal in Alappuzha district from 6 am to 6 pm to protest against the incident,” BJP district president MV Gopakumar told ANI.