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

Kerala Sabarimala hartal today 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.

FP Staff January 03, 2019 15:46:35 IST
Kerala Sabarimala hartal updates: DGP says will probe whether attack on journalists was part of conspiracy

Wide scale protests took place across Kerala on Thursday. PTI

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.

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

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.

Updated Date:

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