Sabarimala row: Kerala HC tells police to investigate circular BJP issued to cadre, orders govt to explain imposition of Section 144

The Kerala High Court on Wednesday directed police to investigate the circular issued by BJP to the party cadres of each sangh district to assemble at Sabarimala and asked the police to find out what material the party wanted the cadres to include in the 'irumudikettu' (offering) they carry to the hill shrine.

File image of Sabarimala temple. PTI

File image of Sabarimala temple. PTI

The court also passed an interim order saying that the police has no right to stop devotees from entering individually or in groups to Sabarimala. The court observed that some senior policemen taking law into their hands has been creating fear for devotees.

The court also sought an explanation from the state government for imposing Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in Sannidhanam, Pamba, Nilakkal and Elavungal during the ongoing controversy surrounding the Sabarimala temple and directed it to explain in detail why Section 144 is being implemented, the people under its purview and how the police differentiate between devotees and protesters.

The court was considering a clutch of petitions questioning police control imposed in Sabarimala.

Earlier Wednesday, the 72 people arrested last week for allegedly violated Section 144 (unlawful assembly) imposed in the vicinity of the temple were granted bail. While 69 of them were arrested Sunday night from the temple premises, State BJP general secretary K Surendran and two others were arrested on Saturday night.

The Pathanamthitta Munsif court granted bail to the accused upon their furnishing two securities each, and ordered them not to enter the Ranni taluk. This means that none of them will be able to return to Sabarimala.

A string of protests has been witnessed in the state since the temple reopened following the top court order on 28 September allowing women of all age groups to enter the Lord Ayappa shrine.

This is the third time that the temple doors have opened since the apex court lifted the restrictions. At least 3,505 protesters have been arrested and 529 cases have been registered in connection with the protests and the incidents of violence that have erupted since the ban was lifted.

With inputs from TK Devasia, 101Reporters and ANI


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Updated Date: Nov 21, 2018 18:32:17 IST

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