Sabarimala clashes: 69 people remanded, moved to Poojappura prison
Sabarimala: The 69 persons arrested from Sabarimala Sannidhanam on Sunday night were produced before Pathanamthitta Munsiff Court and were remanded for 14 days. They were shifted to Poojappura central prison.
Their bail plea will be considered on November 21. Among the 70 arrested, a minor was later avoided from legal procedures. A huge crowd led by Sabarimala Karma Samithi received the police vehicles at the entrance of the prison.
Activists of the BJP, Yuva Morcha and other right-wing outfits Monday stepped up protests across Kerala against the late night police crackdown at the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple complex and the subsequent detention of 69 people.
In a strong reprimand, the Kerala High Court expressed its displeasure over the manner in which Ayyappa devotees were dealt with by the police at the "Sannidhanam" (temple complex). Given the tense situation, there was a dip in arrivals at the shrine which is visited by lakhs of pilgrims during the annual pilgrimage season.
As a war of words erupted over the police action, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan maintained that those who had been arrested were not Ayyappa devotees, but RSS workers camping at Sannidhanam (temple complex).
Asserting that his government was with the devotees, Vijayan said it was being targeted for trying to implement the Supreme Court order permitting entry of all women into the shrine.
Union minister Alphons Kannanthanam, on a visit to Nilackal, Pamba and Sannidhanam to take stock of the various facilities at the hill shrine, lashed out at the state government, saying the temple complex had been turned into a "war zone" and devotees were being treated as "dacoits".
(With inputs from PTI)