Kerala Police arrested 1400 people, who took part in violent protests in connection with the implementation of the Supreme Court order allowing entry of women in the 10-50 age groups into the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala shrine. Police had recently released an album of 210 people.
T Narayanan, Pathanamthitta district police superintendent, said, “More albums will be released in the coming days to identify the protesters, who have manhandled women journalists and damaged public property, including vehicles. So far, 1,400 people have been arrested across Kerala.’’
State Police Chief Loknath Behera on October 26 said that the arrests were made in the past two days and 440 cases were registered in connection with violent incidents following the SC verdict.
The crackdown began after State Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan chaired a high-level meeting and stated that the government would implement the court order and criminals would not be allowed to camp at Sabarimala to prevent entry of women of menstruating age.
T Narayanan added, “Our teams have gone to all districts to detain the accused. Of 152 people arrested in the district, 80 have been charged with non-bailable offenses.”
The police arrested people from Pathanamthitta, Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, Ernakulam and elsewhere.
The action is meant in order to prevent similar kind of incidents when the hill shrine opens for a two-month-long festival in the second week of November. The temple will also be opened for a one-day ritual next week.