Sabarimala : Showdown continues between devotees and police
Latest from the Sabrimala is that continuing the show down between the police and the devotes today the Kerala Police took eight people into preventive custody from the Sabrimala temple complex on Tuesday night after receiving information that they were planning to create trouble. They were taken to the Pamba police station, which is four km downhill, after they offered prayers at the shrine.
Manorama Online news reported that according an official two of the detainees have criminal cases registered against them at local police stations and that they have been taken into custody based on intelligence report.
According to report the eight are members of the Bharatiya Janata Party who had arrived at the hill shrine following the party’s instructions to its district units. BJP parliamentarians V Muraleedharan and Nalin Kateel staged a protest in front of the Sannidhanam police station, Manorama Online reported. They withdrew the protest after the police assured the eight would be released soon.
On Sunday night the police arrested 69 persons from the premises of the sanctum sanctorum after they stayed back at the temple after the day’s rituals were over. Slapped with non-bailable offences, these pilgrims were on Monday produced in a court in Pathanamthitta, which remanded them in judicial custody for two weeks.
Meanwhile at a press conference in state capital Thiruvananthapuram, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan accused the saffron party and right-wing outfits of exploiting the situation for their “political gains” and attempting to capture the hill shrine.
On Monday Kerala High Court had observed that the high-handedness of the police cannot be allowed under the guise of implementing the Supreme Court order on allowing the entry of women aged 10-50. Hearing a number of petitions questioning police restrictions at the hill shrine, a division bench of Justices P R Ramachandra Menon and N Anil Kumar said that everyone has to obey the Supreme Court order, but police excess under the guise of implementing the order cannot be allowed.
The court said it would intervene if the restrictions are found to be arbitrary and infringe upon the rights of pilgrims. The bench directed the state police chief to submit an affidavit by Friday on the police deployment and restrictions introduced at Sabarimala, where the two-month-long pilgrim season began last week.