HC criticises action of devasom guard who 'shoved' devotees in Sabarimala

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Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Monday criticised the actions of Sabarimala temple guard, caught on video pushing and shoving devotees attending Makaravilakku ritual in Sabarimala on January 14.

On Saturday, a guard used force to regulate the movement of devotees in front of 'Sreekovil' after the deity was adorned with the holy jewels, 'Thiruvabharanam'.

Following this, the actions of the guard went viral through a video shared on social media. Later, the High Court's devaswom bench took a suo moto case over the incident.

On Monday, a bench of Justices Anil K Narendran and PG Ajithkumar directed the Devaswom board to give details of the guard concerned and the action, if any, taken against him. The court asked who permitted the guard to behave in such a manner.

When the state government counsel contended that this was done as part of the crowd control, the court pointed out that there are scientific methods of crowd control and that is the duty of the police.

The court viewed that action as "a flagrant violation of the directions issued by this court in the decision in Sajeev Sastharam."

The court also demanded reports from the Special Commissioner and the Sopanam Officer. Earlier, the court had directed the authorities to ensure proper arrangements for devotees attending the hill shrine.

The court asked to include the TDB's top official and also Arun Kumar as a party in the case and posted the case for next Tuesday.

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