Sabarimala Temple: Kerala protests after 68 devotees arrested

Protests kept on chanting even after being requested, forcing the police to take action and forcefully evict them.

Saima Siddiqui

Saima SiddiquiBy Saima Siddiqui

Published on 19 Nov 2018 4:48 AM GMT

Two women stopped to enter Sabarimala shrine
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Sabarimala: Over 68 arrests have been made from Sabarimala after pilgrims failed to comply to prohibitory orders leading to protests here and across Kerala, police said on Monday.

The situation started growing tense late on Sunday, when despite prohibitory orders in and around the temple town, over 200 pilgrims did not vacate the temple premise and started singing Lord Ayyappa hymns.

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"The arrests were made as protesters even after being informed to disperse once the temple closed at 10 p.m, did not move out", told Superintendent of Police Prathish Kumar to media.

Protests kept on chanting even after being requested, forcing the police to take action and forcefully evict them.

As news spread about the arrests, in Thiruvananthapuram protesters congregated near Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's residence and started shouting slogans.

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It is to be mentioned that many Hindu groups have been protesting in the temple town since September 28, against Supreme Court's verdict to allow women of all ages to enter the temple that banned girls and women aged between 10 and 50 for ages to enter temple devoted to celibate lord Ayyappa.

The temple opened its doors on November 17 at 5 p.m for two months.

Union Minister K.J. Alphons denounced the state government's action said, "I fail to understand why the Kerala Police has clamped prohibitory orders.

"This is not the way things should be handled. Sabarimala pilgrims are not extremists. You cannot use force in this place."

The protestors were taken to the Maniyar Police Camp in Pathanamthitta district and were to be produced before a court later Monday.

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Saima Siddiqui

Saima Siddiqui

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