Kerala Sabarimala hartal updates: DGP says will probe whether attack on journalists was part of conspiracy

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Kerala Sabarimala hartal updates: DGP says will probe whether attack on journalists was part of conspiracy
  • 15:13 (IST)

    Police to probe if attack on mediapersons part of conspiracy

    DGP Loknath Behera on Thursday said the Kerala Police will investigate into the attacks on mediapersons across the state and probe if it was part of a conspiracy. According to The Indian Express, Behera said in a press release, that the district police heads have been instructed to create special teams to investigate the cases. The IB has also been alerted to gather intelligence on the same.

  • 14:56 (IST)

    Visuals from Thrissur after BJP workers injured in clash

    Three BJP workers were injured at Vadanappally in Thrissur district during a clash with SDPI workers.

  • 14:50 (IST)

    Despite hartal, temple sees heavy rush of devotees
    A large number of protesters were arrested in various districts in connection with the violent incidents but the police is yet to divulge the total number of people arrested across the state.
     
    At least 22 people were arrested in Malappuram and 12 in Kannur in connection with violence Wednesday night and Thursday morning. Meanwhile, the Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala witnessed a heavy rush of devotees despite the hartal and road blocks in the morning, shrine sources told PTI.

  • 14:47 (IST)

    Congress to decide on its next move at UDF meeting

    Following the incident in which Youth Congress members were hit by the chief minister's cavalcade, Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala said that the party members will decide on its next step at the upcoming UDF meeting. He asserted that the party is "definitely with the devotees in the matter". 

  • 14:33 (IST)

    Stone pelting at CPM offices in Ernakulam, Malappuram
    Television channels aired visuals of protesters forcibly downing shutters of shops in various districts since the hartal began at 6 am. The protesters burnt tyres and placed granite blocks on roads to check vehicle transport in Kozhikode, Palakkad and Kollam.
     
    The local party offices of the ruling CPM were pelted with stones in Ernakulam and Malappuram districts, police said.
     
    A library managed by the Left party in Palakkad was vandalised by protesters. Autorickshaws and private buses suffered damage during stone pelting in Kannur and Kozhikode, the police was quoted as saying by PTI.

  • 14:24 (IST)

    Stone pelting during hartal in Kerala; normal life hit

    Widespread stone pelting, blocking of vehicles and incidents of violence and vandalism Thursday marked the dawn-to-dusk hartal called by the Hindu outfits in Kerala. State-run KSRTC buses, which were pelted with stones during the violence on Wednesday by anti-women entry agitators, kept away from roads in many districts.

     
    Adding to the woes of the public, number of autorickshaws plying were very less. A large number of passengers, including women and children, were seen stranded at bus stands and railway stations across the state.
     
    A 64-year old woman, Pathumma from Wayanad who came for treatment at the Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) in Thiruvananthapuram, collapsed and died at the railway station in the morning, following which her relatives alleged that a delay in getting ambulance service resulted in her death.
     
    PTI
     

  • 14:21 (IST)

    Congress says Vijayan's calvacade hitting its workers 'was no accident'
     

    Kerala Congress working president K Sudhakaran lashed out at the Kerala government after two Youth Congress workers were injured when Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's cavalcade hit them. Sudhakaran said that the "atrocities" were "a creation of the chief minister". "In democracy, protest is normal. He could've stopped the car or diverted it. The driver hit the concerned person deliberately. I request the police to file a case against the driver," he told CNN-News18.

  • 14:18 (IST)

    'Vijayan says head priest should've quit if he was not ready to accept Supreme Court verdict'
     
    Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan slammed the Sabarimala head priest on Thursday for conducting purification rituals after two women entered the temple, saying he should have quit if he was not ready to accept the Supreme Court verdict.
     
    "A strange thing happened at the Ayyappa temple yesterday. The 'tantri' (priest) closed the shrine and performed the purification rituals. This was violation of the Supreme Court verdict," Vijayan told reporters. "The 'tantri' should have quit, if he had any objection to the apex court order as he was also a party to the case," he said.
     
     
     

  • 14:06 (IST)

    Rahul Easwar praises RSS for demanding ordinance to 'save Sabarimala'

  • 14:01 (IST)

    Kerala journalists to hold protest march

    Several journalists will hold a protest march shortly in view of the attacks on media personnel covering the Sabarimala issue.

  • 13:57 (IST)

    Bring ordinance to protect devotees: RSS leader

    RSS leader PEB Menon said that the Centre should bring an ordinance to protect devotees. “ Devotees have lost faith in state government. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's adamant posture has led to the sorry state,” Hindustan Times quoted him as saying.

  • 13:48 (IST)

    Three injured in Thrissur attack

    According to News18, the clashes — in which one BJP workers was stabbed — erupted between BJP and SDPI workers in Thrissur. However, India Today reported that the incident took place when a group of shop owners attacked the BJP workers who were trying to forcefully shut the shops.

  • 13:42 (IST)

    Pinarayi Vijayan's cavalcade hits two Youth Congress workers

    Two Youth Congress workers were injured after being hit by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's cavalcade. The workers had gathered to show black flags to Vijayan.

  • 13:16 (IST)

    Mediapersons attacked by BJP workers in Thiruvananthapuram

  • 13:11 (IST)

    BJP worker stabbed during protests in Thrissur's Vadanapally, reports News18

  • 13:02 (IST)

    Entry of two women an unnecessary, provocation act, says Shashi Tharoor

    Congress MP Shashi Tharoor clarified on his party's stand on the Sabarimala issue. "We are in favour of women's empowerment but it is a matter of faith. The Congress' stand is clear. We are criticising the state government on the needlessly provocative actions at a time when the pilgrimage season was going on peacefully. And at the same time, we're criticising the BJP for its acts of violence, vandalism, and destruction. We believe that reducing a sanctified place to a stage for political theatre is a shameful act by both parties. We stand with the believers. "

    He further said that since the Supreme Court was scheduled to hear the review petitions on 22 January, the entry of two women into the temple was "an unnecessary provocative act". "I can't imagine it gave any satisfaction to the women because they didn't go up the 18 holy steps. They have technically not conducted a ritual act of worship," he said.

  • 12:48 (IST)

    I don't worry at all, says Kanakadurga 

    Kanakadurga (44) and Bindu (42), created history be stepping into the hallowed precincts on Wednesday. Speaking to The Times of India, Kanakadurga said, "Our only regret is that we could not climb the ‘Pathinettam Padi’. We hope in the coming days, women will be able to enter the temple by climbing the ‘Pathinettam Padi’. Let our act inspire more women, including the young generation."

  • 12:42 (IST)

    Kerala govt at fault, says Shashi Tharoor

    "What the BJP is doing in Kerala is deplorable, but the Kerala government is also at fault," News18 quoted Shashi Tharoor as saying.

  • 12:22 (IST)

    BJP, Sangh Parivar workers hold protest march in Pandalam

    At Pandalam in Alappuzha district, angry BJP and Sangh Parivar activists took out a protest march, after one of their supporters who was injured in a stone throwing by CPM workers, on Wednesday, died late night. One CPM worker has been arrested so far in the case.

  • 12:18 (IST)

    After BJP's V Muraleedharan, Congress MP K Suresh calls two women devotees 'Maoists'

    Congress leader K Suresh said that the state government was challenging the sentiments of devotees of Sabarimala. With the sponsor of state government, these two young women entered the temple. They are activists; they are Maoists," he said.

  • 12:08 (IST)

    BJP protests in Thiruvananthapuram

    Protests erupted on Wednesday after two women entered Sabarimala the night before. The BJP and other Hindu fringe groups called for immediate protests even as the Devaswom board did not confirm the news of the women's entry for a while.

  • 12:01 (IST)

    Women protest in Kochi

    Women protesters participate in Kerala hartal, reports The Indian Express. Visuals from Thoppumpady in Kochi

  • 11:53 (IST)

    Traders angry at violent protesters

    Protesters in Kozhikode pelted stones at shops including a popular sweet shop, reports said. Traders have expressed outrage to the agitation. Merchants and traders and called for a boycott of the shutdown that was declared on Wedesnday by the Hindu outfits and had kept the shops open since morning. 

  • 11:51 (IST)

    Hartal challenges Supreme Court verdict, unleashed by RSS, BJP for political gains: Vijayan

    Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the violence unleashed by the BJP and the Sangh Parivar following the entry of two women at Sabarimala temple was orchestrated by their leaders for political gains.

    He pointed out that no protests had erupted anywhere in the state after reports about the visit of Bindu Ammini and Kanaka Durga were know. “The Ayyappa devotees at Sabarimala and the rest of the state had not raised any protest against the entry of the women. The BJP and the Sangh Parivar launched the protests much later as per the directions from the top. This is a politically motivated intervention,” he told reporters at Thiruvananthapuram.

    The chief minister described the hartal as a challenge to the Supreme Court verdict. “The women had gone to Sabarimala after the court allowed women of all ages to enter the temple. They were not given any special consideration by the government. They went like ordinary devotees and did the darshan.”

    The chief minister reiterated that the government will continue to provide protection to women who come forward visit the temple.

  • 11:40 (IST)

    Seven police vehicles, 79 KSRTC buses damaged in protests

    Speaking at Thiruvananthapuram, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that seven police vehicles, 79 KSRTC buses were damaged and 39 police personnel were attacked, till now. "Most of the persons attacked were women. Women media persons were also attacked," he said.

  • 11:35 (IST)

    Pinarayi Vijayan says state bound to implement SC order

    At a press conference, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the state government is bound to implement the Supreme Court order lifting the ban on women's entry into Sabarimala temple. "It is the government's responsibility to protect women. The state government has fulfilled its responsibility. The RSS and BJP are turning Sabarimala into a warzone. People of Kerala are not against women entering the temple. The state government now has been forced to intervene in order to prevent any clash. We will take strict actions against any protester seen taking part in violence," he said.

    He said that it was the fifth hartal called by the BJP on the issue. "Ideally, hartal of such measures is the last resort. But the BJP continues its hartal politics. This is against the Supreme Court order on the ban of women to Sabarimala temple," he said.

  • 11:10 (IST)

    'Purification' ritual at Sabarimala appears to violate ban on untouchability

    Although the temple officials had been vehemently opposing the 28 September verdict of the Supreme Court, their move to "purify" the temple after the two women offered their prayers at the shrine strongly undermines Justice DY Chandrachud's observations in the judgment.

    Chandrachud had compared the practice of barring women from entering the temple to untouchabilty, which is abolished in India under Article 17 of the Constitution. "The social exclusion of women, based on menstrual status, is a form of untouchability, which is anthaema to constitutional values," he has said in his judgment. 

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  • 11:05 (IST)

    Supreme Court declines early hearing for contempt action against chief priest 

    Chief Justice Dipak Misra on Thursday turned down a request for the urgent hearing of a plea mentioned by lawyer PV Dinesh against the chief priest of the Sabarimala temple over the "purification ritual" after the entry of two women on Wednesday. According to CNN-News18, Misra said that the date of hearing on the matter was fixed (22 January) and it won't reconstitute the bench. 

  • 10:58 (IST)

    Sabarimala issue likely to echo in Lok Sabha today

    Revolutionary Socialist Party leader NK Premchandran submitted an adjournment notice on the Sabarimala issue in the Lok Sabha.

  • 10:43 (IST)

    BJP's V Muraleedharan says two women who entered temple were were Maoists

    "CPM, with selected policemen, prepared an action plan and then saw to it that the women go inside the temple. This is a planned conspiracy by Maoists in league with Kerala government and the CPM," BJP leader V Muraleedharan said.

  • 10:30 (IST)

    Jet Airways, Air India alert passengers of possible transportation issues

    In face of the ongoing protests in Kerala, Jet Airways and Air India have issued notices to warn its passengers of possible transportation issues.

  • 10:17 (IST)

    Homes of five CPM leaders attacked

    Homes of five CPM leaders have been attacked, according to News18. The party leaders suspect the involvement of protesters from RSS. A Kerala bus was also vandalised in Thrissur. ​

  • 10:12 (IST)

    Ambulances used to help stranded passengers at Thiruvananthapuram Central

  • Five BJP workers in police custody over attack on woman official

    The Ernakulam police has taken into custody five BJP workers in connection with the attack on a woman police official during the hartal. PN Shija of Vadakkekkara police station was assaulted by a group of hartal supporters when she took a picture of the blocking of a KSRTC bus at Paravur. The enraged hartal supporters snatched her mobile and allegedly slapped her. Police sources said that the BJP workers in custody were from Kodungalloor.

  • Bandh supporters block roads, force shops to shut

    The elaborate arrangements made by the LDF government to ensure normal life during the hartal called by the Sabarimala Karma Samiti did not deter the supporters of the strike from enforcing the shut down. According to reports reaching from various districts, the Sabarimala Karma Samiti and BJP activists blocked roads and forced shops to close in most places. Though the state DGP Loknath Behera had offered police protection to Kerala State Road Transport corporation buses, the state utility stopped operations after more than 80 buses came under attack. Private bus operators also did not operate buses in most places.

    Behara has warned arrest of those indulging in violence and legal action to levy compensation from those who vandalize public property from their bank accounts or properties.

  • 09:57 (IST)

    KSRTC suspends bus services to Kerala 

    Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has stopped its bus operations to Kerala for the day in view of the hartal called by various organisations, The Hindu reported.

  • 09:55 (IST)

    Protesters block vehicles in Kozhikode
    As per initial reports, auto-rickshaws and two-wheelers were plying at the railway station in the state capital and various other places. But in Kozhikode, protesters blocked vehicles and burnt tyres in the morning.

    The BJP is supporting the dawn-to-dusk 12-hour hartal while the Congress-led UDF is observing a "black day" on Thursday. Various universities, including Kerala, Mahatma Gandhi, Calicut and Kannur have postponed their examinations scheduled for Thursday.

  • 09:44 (IST)

    Seven arrested in Kannur, Aluva

    The police arrested five people in Kannur in connection with violence and two in Aluva for blocking traffic, reports The Indian Express.

  • 09:38 (IST)

    One killed in protests
     

    One person was killed and at least 15 injured in violence across Kerala which broke out after two women defied traditionalists to enter Sabarimala temple. "The person who died was part of a BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) demonstration yesterday and got injured when some stones were hurled (at the demonstrators)," Kerala police spokesman Pramod Kumar told AFP.

    Local media reports said the demonstrators from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's BJP were hit by stones from a local office of the state's ruling Communist party.

  • Several traders refuse to support shutdown call

    The call by the merchants’ organisations to defy the hartal called by the Sabarimala Karma Samithi in protest against the entry of two women in Sabarimala temple did not evoke support from traders in most parts of the state. As in the case of previous hartals, shops in cities and in most urban areas remained closed.

    T Nazirudeen, president of Kerala Vyaparai Vyavasayi Ekopana Samiti that leads the movement, said the traders did not come forward to open the shops due to lack of protection by the police. The traders kept the shops closed as there were widespread attacks on shops and vehicles in several parts of the state on 2 January.

  • 09:24 (IST)

    Sporadic incidents of violence reported across Kerala

    Incidents of violence have been reported from across Kerala, according to local newspaper Mathrubhumi. In ​Palakkad, a library CPM-run library was attacked destroyed by protestors. The Tavanur CPM office was set ablaze. Protesters have blocked national highway at several spots in Kozhikode.

  • Whereabouts of two women who entered Sabarimala unknown

    The whereabouts of Bindu Ammini and Kanaka Durga, who scripted history by entering the Sabarimala temple on the basis of the Supreme Court verdict allowing women of all ages to enter the temple, are not known.

    Bindu’s husband KV Hariharan said he was unable to contact his wife as her mobile phone was switched off. He said he was not expecting Bindu to return home immediately as right-wing activists were protesting in front of their house and across the state. The police have provided security at their house at Koylandi in Kozhikode district.

    The two women had left Sabarimala with police protection after they completed the darshan of Lord Ayyappa at the Sabarimala temple.

  • 09:06 (IST)

    Kerala BJP president says 'will draw Centre’s attention' to Sabarimala matter

    Kerala BJP president PS Sreedharan Pillai said tha tthe "Stalinist administration" in Kerala tramples believers, the Hindustan Times reported. He added the party will draw the attention of the Centre to the Sabarimala issue. "A bunch of atheists stifling age old customs," Sreedharan claimed.

  • 09:03 (IST)

    Traders to keep shops open; universities postpone exams

    Various universities, including Kerala, Mahatma Gandhi, Calicut and Kannur, have postponed their examinations scheduled for Thursday. Meanwhile, traders' organisations said they will not cooperate with the hartal and keep shops and business establishments open. 

    With inputs from PTI

  • Two CPM workers in custody for death of Sabarimala protester

    The protest over the entry of two women inside the Sabarimala temple has claimed one life with a Sabarimala Karma Samithi activist, who was injured in a clash at Pandalam in Pathanamthitta district succumbing to his injuries at a private hospital on Wednesday night.

    The deceased, identified as Chandran Unnithan (55), who is also an active worker of the BJP, suffered an injury to his head after being hit by stones allegedly pelted from the ruling CPM office at Pandalam during a march the Karma Samithi workers held in the town.

    Karma Samithi convenor SJR Kumar said the attack was "pre-planned". The CPM workers had stocked stones and metal pieces in the second floor of their office in advance. The Pandalam Police has taken two CPM workers into custody in connection with the incident. The Karma Samiti is an umbrella organisation of right-wing Hindu groups, including BJP and the Sangh Parivar.

  • 08:56 (IST)

    Security deployed in Pathanamthitta in view of 12-hour strike

  • 08:55 (IST)

    Sabarimala protester succumbs to injuries

    A 55-year-old Sabarimala Karma Samiti worker, who was injured on Wednesday, in a clash between CPM and BJP workers in Pandalam, succumbed to his injuries late on Wednesday.

  • 08:54 (IST)

    KSRTC suspends services from Karnataka, says over 60 buses attacked

    Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation has suspended services across Kerala due to protests and stones pelting at buses, The Indian Express reported. Authorities said more than 60 buses had been attacked amid the Sabarimala protests, so far.

  • 08:52 (IST)

    Kerala DGP warns of strict action

    The Kerala Director General of Police has said strict action will be taken against those flouting law and order rules during the 12-hour hartal in the state.

  • 08:45 (IST)

    BJP supports Hindu outfits' hartal, Congress-led UDF observes 'black day'

    The BJP is supporting the shutdown, with party workers actively participating in the hartal. Meanwhile, the Congress-led UDF is observing a "black day" on Thursday against the Kerala chief minister's 'betrayal' of Sabarimala devotees. 

    This comes after two women, Kanakadurga (44) and Bindu (42), created history be stepping into the hallowed precincts guarded by police three months after the Supreme Court's historic judgement lifting the ban on entry of girls and women between 10 and 50 years of age into the shrine of Lord Ayyappa, its "eternally celibate" deity. 

Kerala Sabarimala hartal today LATEST updates: DGP Loknath Behera on Thursday said the Kerala Police will investigate into the attacks on mediapersons across the state and probe if it was part of a conspiracy. A large number of protesters were arrested in various districts in connection with the violent incidents but the police is yet to divulge the total number of people arrested across the state. At least 22 people were arrested in Malappuram and 12 in Kannur in connection with violence Wednesday night and Thursday morning

Two Youth Congress workers were injured after being hit by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's cavalcade. The workers had gathered to show black flags to Vijayan. Kerala Congress working president K Sudhakaran said that the "atrocities" were "a creation of the chief minister". Meanwhile, a BJP worker was stabbed in Thrissur's Vadanampally during clashes.

In Thiruvananthapuram, journalists were attacked during protests. Asianet cameraperson Biju was reportedly attacked by BJP workers. Congress MP Shashi Tharoor clarified on his party's stand on the Sabarimala issue. "We are in favour of women's empowerment but it is a matter of faith... I think it (entry of two women) was an unnecessary provocative act," he said.

Congress leader K Suresh also said that the state government was challenging the sentiments of devotees of Sabarimala. "With the sponsor of state government, these two young women entered the temple. They are activists; they are Maoists," he said.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the violence unleashed by the BJP and the Sangh Parivar following the entry of two women at Sabarimala temple was orchestrated by their leaders for political gains. He pointed out that no protests had erupted anywhere else in the state after reports about the visit of Bindu Ammini and Kanaka Durga were known. "The Ayyappa devotees at Sabarimala and the rest of the state had not raised any protest against the entry of the women. The BJP and the Sangh Parivar launched the protests much later as per the directions from the top. This is a politically motivated intervention," he told reporters at Thiruvananthapuram.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court turned down the request for urgent consideration of a plea against the "purification ritual" and the closing down of Sabarimala temple on Wednesday after two women entered the shrine.

In face of the ongoing protests in Kerala, Jet Airways and Air India have issued notices to warn its passengers of possible transportation issues. The police arrested five people in Kannur in connection with violence and two in Aluva for blocking traffic. Meanwhile, the call by the merchants’ organisations to defy the hartal called by the Sabarimala Karma Samithi in protest against the entry of two women in Sabarimala temple did not evoke support from traders in most parts of the state.

The whereabouts of the two women, Bindu Ammini and Kanaka Durga, who scripted history by entering the Sabarimala temple, are not known at the moment. Bindu's husband said he was not expecting her back home anytime soon as right-wing activists were protesting outside their home.

Two CPM workers have been taken into custody over the death of a Sabarimala Karma Samithi activist on Wednesday night. The 55-year-old had sustained a head injury after CPM workers pelted stones at a procession of the Samithi in at Pandalam in Pathanamthitta district following the entry of two women inside Sabarimala.

The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has suspended services across Kerala due to protests and stones pelting at buses. Authorities said more than 60 buses had been attacked amid the Sabarimala protests, so far.

A 12-hour strike has begun in Kerala, in protest against two women entering the Sabarimala temple on Wednesday. Protests had erupted across Kerala after two women in their 40s entered the shrine and offered prayers in the sanctum sanctorum.

Lord Ayyappa devotees did not take lightly to this development, staging protests soon after the news was confirmed by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Hindu right-wing activists blocked highways and forced the closure of several shops and markets. BJP and CPM workers clashed in front of the Secretariat for over five hours on Wednesday, and the police were forced to use tear gas and water cannons to disperse them. A 55-year-old man, who was seriously injured in stone pelting in Pandalam, died late on Wednesday night.

India protesters carry a picture of the Hindu deity Ayyappa at a demonstration after two women entered the Sabarimala temple in Kochi in southern Kerala. AFP

India protesters carry a picture of the Hindu deity Ayyappa at a demonstration after two women entered the Sabarimala temple in Kochi in southern Kerala. AFP

Two women, 44-year-old Kanakadurga and 42-year-old Bindu, created history on Wednesday be stepping into the hallowed precincts guarded by police, three months after the Supreme Court's historic judgment lifting the ban on entry of girls and women between 10 and 50 years of age into the Lord Ayyappa shrine.

The agitations are likely to continue on Thursday, with Hindu groups calling for a dawn-to-dusk, 12-hour strike in the state, in protest against the two women entering the Sabarimala temple. The Sabarimala Karma Samithi — an umbrella organisation of various pro-Hindutva groups that is spearheading protests against the Supreme Court's 28 September verdict — and the Antarrashtriya Hindu Parishad called for the hartal.

The BJP is supporting the shutdown, while the Congress-led UDF is observing a "black day" on Thursday.

Merchants' organisations said they will not cooperate with the hartal and keep shops and business establishments open. As per initial reports, autorickshaws and two-wheelers were plying at the railway station in Thiruvananthapuram and various other places. But in Kozhikode, protesters blocked vehicles and burnt tyres on Thursday morning.

Various universities, including Kerala, Mahatma Gandhi, Calicut and Kannur, have postponed their examinations scheduled for Thursday.

Meanwhile, Kerala Director General of Police Loknath Behara has warned of strict action against those indulging in violence during the hartal.

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Updated Date: Jan 03, 2019 15:47:04 IST

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