BJP workers begin 'protest day', block highways against arrest of Surendran

70 Devotees Detained Outside Sabarimala Temple After Overnight Clashes

Sabarimala shrine protest has not finished yet.

Congress leaders Adoor Prakash and V S Sivakumar alleged Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was sabotaging Sabarimala temple and its practices by using the police force.

On Sunday night, the fresh protest was broke out at the shrine where hundreds of devotees protested against the restrictions of Police. The BJP and RSS workers had gathered in front of Cliff House-the official residence of the chief minister-at Nanthancode in Thiruvananthapuram. Protests against police action were also held in other places, including Kochi, Kollam, Alappuzha, Malappuram and Idukki.

However, KP Sasikala, a right-wing leader was released on Saturday. Sasikala was arrested after midnight on Friday when she allegedly refused police instructions to leave from Sabarimala. Reshma Nishanth, a 32-year-old teacher from the city of Kannur in Kerala, has spent recent weeks making the traditional preparations for the Sabarimala pilgrimage, including observing a 41-day fast.

Media showed images of shirtless devotees - following the pilgrimage tradition - chanting mantras as they faced off with police.

It is to be noted that due to early incidents of violence at the Sabarimala temple, police have had imposed strict restrictions on devotees at Sannidhanam, including not allowing them to stay back in the night.

Superintendent of police and Sannidhanam special officer Pratheesh Kumar said the protesters were detained for violating Section 144 that prohibits assembly of more than four people at a spot.

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The investigators do not care "how many lives they can ruin", he wrote. "From what I hear, it's ending". Meanwhile, he accused that some questions were designed "by people who probably have bad intentions".

"Section 144 had been declared in the area".

Considering a batch of pleas related to various issues concerning Sabarimala, the court orally directed that the devotees who had taken tickets for the "Neyyabhishekam" (ghee offering) rituals should be allowed to stay back at the Sannidhanam and perform the ritual the next morning. They can recite prayers also. We are not against it.

Nilakkal: Minister of State (MoS) for Tourism, KJ Alphons, who is now on his way to the Sabarimala Temple, on Monday, said that the situation at the hill-top shrine of Lord Ayyappa is worse than an emergency situation.

The police on Saturday took into preventive custody the general secretary of the BJP in Kerala, K Surendran, from Nilakkal for trying to proceed to the temple. At a function in Kozhikode, he said that those arrested were not the devotees of Lord Ayyappa.

An unprecedented police presence has been felt around the temple as tens of thousands of pilgrims made their way to the hilltop shrine after it reopened on Friday, ahead of the start of a Hindu festival period.

The announcement on the TDB's move came amid mounting tension against the backdrop of the stand-off over entry of women in the 10-50 age group, traditionally barred at the shrine.

The temple town has witnessed protests by Hindu groups since the September 28 when the Supreme Court allowed women of all ages to enter the temple that hitherto banned girls and women aged between 10 and 50.

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