Sabarimala row: Kerala Police includes photo of one of its own in album of 210 suspects, calls it 'mistake'

Kerala Police included a photograph of one of its own personnel in its album of 210 people suspected to have been involved in the violent protests at Sabarimala to prevent the entry of women of all ages into the Lord Ayyappa shrine.

The News Minute reported that the Kerala Police eventually clarified that the plain-clothed policeman's photograph being included in the album was a mistake.

After BJP leader MT Ramesh pointed out the error, Kerala Police in a Facebook post acknowledged the goof-up and clarified that the photographs of the 210 suspects were not look-out notices.

 Sabarimala row: Kerala Police includes photo of one of its own in album of 210 suspects, calls it mistake

Representational image. Getty Images

"Truth is that this is not a look-out notice; these are pictures of people suspected to have engaged in violence at Sabarimala, collected from in and around the temple. These details have been sent to all district police chiefs to investigate and nab the real culprits. Since we confirmed that he (Ibrahim) was caught in the violence while returning from duty, as the mob attacked the vehicle he was driving, we decided to remove him from the list of suspects," the report quoted the post as saying.

Police sources earlier told PTI special teams would be formed in all districts to identify the suspects in the photographs.

Pathnamthitta district police chief T Narayanan said a list of 210 people, suspected to have taken part in the protests, and their photographs have been been sent to Superintendents of Police of various districts for identification.

Meanwhile, as part of steps to beef up security at the 'Sannidhanam' (temple complex), it has been decided to deploy 5,000 additional police personnel during the three month-long 'mandalam-makaravillaku' season, starting 17 November.

The number of police personnel at Sannidhanam, Pamba and Nilakkal would also be increased and more CCTV cameras would be installed, a police press note said.

The temple witnessed high drama recently with around a dozen women in the 10 to 50 age group being prevented by protesting devotees from entering it after the doors were opened for all women following the apex court verdict.

Kerala devaswom minister Kadakkampally Surendran on Thursday claimed that effective police intervention foiled the protestors' bid to "desecrate" the Ayyappa temple by spilling blood in the premises if women devotees in the 10 to 50 age group offered prayers.

He had said that the "conspiracy" of the devotees was made clear by Ayyappa Dharma Sena president Rahul Easwar, who had said that the faithful had plans to make the Lord Ayyappa shrine "impure" by spilling blood on its premises, forcing its closure if young girls and women devotees tried to enter the shrine.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Oct 26, 2018 18:36:52 IST