Sabarimala temple protests Updates: BJP leader K Surendran, 68 others get bail; RSS leader suspended from state govt job

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New Delhi | Updated:Nov 21, 2018 6:29:46 pm

Sabarimala temple protests Updates: A local court in Thiruvalla on Wednesday granted bail to BJP's Kerala unit general secretary K Surendran who was taken into custody last week from Nilakkal base camp for violation of prohibitory orders.

Sabarimala temple protests LIVE UpdatesSabarimala temple protests Updates: 8 devotees taken into preventive custody from temple complex

Sabarimala temple protests Updates: A local court in Thiruvalla on Wednesday granted bail to BJP’s Kerala unit general secretary K Surendran who was taken into custody last week from Nilakkal base camp for violation of prohibitory orders. The arrest and remand of Surendran’s 14-day judicial custody had triggered massive protests in the state with BJP and other right-wing groups observing a 12-hour strike in the state. The court, however, asked Surendran not to visit the temple. The court also granted bail to 68 other people who were arrested on Monday after Sunday night’s police action against devotees. In another related development, the Kerala High Court sought an explanation from the LDF government over the need for imposition of prohibitory orders in and around Sabarimala temple. The state government has clamped Section 144 of CrPC to restrict gathering of more than four people near the temple for the last 5 days.

Meanwhile, the situation at famed Lord Ayyappa’s Sabarimala temple remains tense even five days after doors were opened for two-months-long pilgrimage. So far, no woman between the age of 10 and 50 years has been able to enter the premises of the hill shrine due to the continuous uproar over Supreme Court’s September 28 order to lift the centuries-old ban. On Tuesday, the Kerala Police further tightened the rules on entry timing and offering prayers inside Lord Ayyappa’s temple. Cops were seen handing out notices to pilgrims at the Nilackal base camp. The notices state that devotees should return in 6 hours after offering prayers at the temple and pilgrims are not supposed to speak to the media. It even said that if there is any violation, devotees are liable to be prosecuted.

Also Read: On Sabarimala row, VHP threatens to launch nationwide movement 

 

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Sabarimala temple protests LIVE Updates: Tension prevails in Kerala

16:50 (IST)21 Nov 2018
Surendra, others can't enter shrine

The court also rejected the plea of the accused to permit them to visit the hill shrine during the two-month-long "mandala makaravillaku" pilgrim season. Since a non-bailable warrant is pending against him before the Kannur magistrate court, Surendran will have to seek bail in that case to come of jail. Restrictions have been imposed at the Lord Ayyappa temple following protests by devotees and activists of the BJP and the RSS over the state government's decision to implement the September 28 Supreme Court order. The hill shrine was opened on November 16 evening for the over two-month-long pilgrimage season amid tension.

16:46 (IST)21 Nov 2018
Union Minister Radhakrishnan gets into war of words with police

Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan, who was on his way to the Sabarimala Temple, Wednesday engaged in a brief war of words with the police here over restrictions on private vehicles heading to Pamba, the last entry point to the Lord Ayyappa shrine. Though IPS officer Yatish Chandra said the minister could travel in his official vehicle, Radhakrishnan preferred to proceed to Pamba from here in a state-run KSRTC bus as a mark of protest against the restrictions imposed by state authorities causing difficulties to pilgrims. Radhakrishnan, the Minister of State for Shipping and Finance, arrived at the base camp here, located about 20 km from Sabarimala, a day after the visit of opposition Congress-led UDF MLAs and BJP MPs to take stock of facilities offered to devotees. After reviewing facilities, the minister asked the Chandra, why only KSRTC vehicles were being allowed till Pamba and asked them to allow private vehicles also.

15:31 (IST)21 Nov 2018
Union Minister travels to Pamba, gets into war of words with police

Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan, who was on his way to the Sabarimala Temple, Wednesday engaged in a brief war of words with the police here over restrictions on private vehicles heading to Pamba, the last entry point to the Lord Ayyappa shrine. Though IPS officer Yatish Chandra said the minister could travel in his official vehicle, Radhakrishnan preferred to proceed to Pamba from here in a state-run KSRTC bus as a mark of protest against the restrictions imposed by state authorities causing difficulties to pilgrims. PTI

14:38 (IST)21 Nov 2018
Kerala government suspends protesting RSS leader from Ayurveda department job

RSS leader R Rajesh, who was arrested for taking a part in the protests, has been suspned from work. Rajesh is a pharmacist in state's Ayurveda department. A local court in Thiruvalla on Wednesday granted conditional bail to BJP's Kerala unit general secretary K Surendran. He was taken into custody last week from Nilakkal base camp for violation prohibitory orders. He was later produced before a court and sent to 14 daya judicial custody. In its bail order, the court also ordered Surendran not to visit the temple.

14:13 (IST)21 Nov 2018
Congress’ Ramesh Chennithala express anguish

Senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in Kerala Legislative Assembly Ramesh Chennithala on Tuesday visited the temple town. He expressed anguish at the manner in which Pinarayi Vijayan was handling the issue. “We fail to understand what has gone wrong with Vijayan. Who does he think he is? Nowhere else in the country would there be prohibitory orders at a religious centre,” he said.

14:00 (IST)21 Nov 2018
Sabarimala temple: 68 devotees get bail

A local court in Thiruvalla on Wednesday also granted conditional bail to 68 other devotees who were arrested on Monday after police crackdown in Sunday night at the temple complex. All the arrested devotees were sent to 14 days judicial custody on Monday for violating prohibitory orders.

13:33 (IST)21 Nov 2018
Kerala BJP leader K Surendran gets bail

A local court in Thiruvalla on Wednesday granted conditional bail to BJP's Kerala unit general secretary K Surendran. He was taken into custody last week from Nilakkal base camp for violation prohibitory orders. He was later produced before a court and sent to 14 daya judicial custody. In its bail order, the court also ordered Surendran not to visit the temple.

13:18 (IST)21 Nov 2018
Sabarimala temple: HC seeks explanation on Section 144

Meanwhile, the Kerala High Court has sought an explanation from the LDF government on imposing Section144. In its direction, the court directed the state to explain in detail how is Section 144 being implemented in the area.

13:10 (IST)21 Nov 2018
RSS behaving like Taliban, Khalistan terrorists: CPI-M Politburo member

CPI-M Politburo member S Ramachandran Pillai said that RSS is behaving like Taliban and Khalistan terrorists. "Why are they trying to create trouble in Sabarimala? They should allow everything to be peaceful, they’re not doing it," he said.

13:01 (IST)21 Nov 2018
Sabarimala temple protests: BJP to intensify stir

BJP’s Kerala unit chief PS Sreedharan Pillai said that party will intensity its protest against the high-handedness of the LDF government. He said that the party is demanding three things including withdrawing of the prohibitory orders, ending the police raj and freedom to pray.

Another BJP leader and MP V Muraleedharan told reporters that it is strange that the police say the pilgrims cannot chant Lord Ayyappa hymns.

12:31 (IST)21 Nov 2018
Sabarimala temple: Review petitions

A total of 49 review petitions were filed in the Supreme Court. The court on November 19 heard the petitions and agreed to hear all review petitions on January 22. The court, however, made it clear that it was not staying its previous order. November 16 to January 20 is the pilgrimage season at Sabarimala.

12:15 (IST)21 Nov 2018
Sabarimala temple: Why women devotees are not allowed?

Sabarimala is an ancient temple. It is widely believed that the temple was mostly unreachable for about 3 centuries after its installation. It was in 12th century, prince of Pandalam Dynasty Manikandan had rediscovered the original path to reach the temple. This prince is considered an avatar of Ayyappa and it is believed that he meditated there and became one with the divine. According to locals, it is widely believed that Lord Ayappa is celibate and therefore he should not be distracted.

11:37 (IST)21 Nov 2018
Sabarimala protests: Travancore Devaswom Board issues statement

The Travancore Devaswom Board which manages the Sabarimala temple on Tuesday issued a statement saying while the number of pilgrims in the first few days was less, it has started to pick up in the past two days.

11:23 (IST)21 Nov 2018
Sabarimala temple: VHP threatens to launch nationwide movement

The VHP has threatened to launch a nationwide movement if the state government doesn't change its dictatorial and dogmatic attitude on Sabarimala issue. In his remark on Tuesday, VHP’s joint general secretary Surendra Jain said that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is working like Adil Shah and Aurangzeb. “The Chief Minister is trying to turn Kerala into a Hindu-free state like Kashmir. On Shabrimala issue, his behavior has become like a ruthless dictator,” he said. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

11:13 (IST)21 Nov 2018
Sabarimala used for political gains by RSS: Vijayan

In his remark, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday renewed his sttack on RSS-led forces and Congress for turning the hill shrine into a battle field. He said that Sabarimala is being used for political gains by RSS and Congress has also fallen for it. Justifying Sunday's polie action, he said that the police showed maximum restraint and action was taken trouble makers took law into their hands. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

10:52 (IST)21 Nov 2018
Sabarimala temple: Amit Shah slams Vijayan government

BJP president Amit Shah on Tuesday attacked Kerala CM Minister Pinarayi Vijayan saying he must realise that he cannot treat Ayyappa devotees like inmates of the Gulag. Expressing disappointment over the way Kerala government has been handling the entire issue, he said, "We stand firmly with every Ayyappa devotee, who holds the Sabarimala tradition close to his heart." Shah also blasted him for arresting BJP's kerala unit leader K Surendran saying " "if Vijayan thinks he can rise against people's movement to preserve Sabarimala by arresting K Surendran, then he is mistaken."

10:26 (IST)21 Nov 2018
Sabarimala temple: Review petitions

A total of 49 review petitions were filed in the Supreme Court. The court on November 19 heard the petitions and agreed to hear all review petitions on January 22. The court, however, made it clear that it was not staying its previous order. November 16 to January 20 is the pilgrimage season at Sabarimala.

10:03 (IST)21 Nov 2018
CPM leader likens RSS to Khalistan terrorists

The ruling CPM has justified the use of security forces on Sunday night against the agitators. In a remark issued yesterday, the ruling party came down heavily on the RSS for trying to hijack the shrine. Party's Kerala unit secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan even drew an analogy between the RSS's move with that of Khalistan terrorists who had laid siege to Amritsar's Golden Temple in 80s. He alleged that Sangh has deployed more than 50,000 volunteers to fuel protests. Referring to a circular issued by BJP state secretary AN Radhakrishnan, he said that it says on November 17 party workers were from each district will be taken to the temple. “State leaders from various districts have been given charge to take workers from each constituency to the temple,” a report in The Wire quoted him as saying.

09:22 (IST)21 Nov 2018
110 devotees from Kalyan return without prayer

A group of 110 devotees from Kalyan decided to return without praying at the Samabrimala temple. The group had reached Erumely but changed its mind due to protests. “We are pained at the developments and even after coming so close to the temple, we decided not to pray as we are worried for our safety amid the stringent rules that are now in place,' said one pilgrim.

08:34 (IST)21 Nov 2018
Sabarimala temple: Police tightens rules for pilgrims

In view of rising protests, the police on Tuesday further tightened the rules on entry of pilgrims inside the temple complex. Police had earlier asked pilgrims to return before 10 pm and no one was allowed to undertake yatra after 7 pm. On Tuesday, police officials were seen handing out notices to pilgrims at the Nilackal base camp. It said that they should return in six hours after praying at the temple and that pilgrims are not supposed to speak to the media. Besides, it warned of action if there is any violation.

"The police after inspecting our vehicle told us that if any of the rules are broken, strict action would be taken," a pilgrim told the media at Nilackal.

07:41 (IST)21 Nov 2018
Sabarimala temple: Dramatic fall in number of pilgrims

Meanwhile, a report in news agency IANS said that compared to previous years, there has been a fall in the number of pilgrims at Sabarimala temple ever since it was opened for two-month-long pilgrimage season. It said that in the past, the average daily number of pilgrims during the same period was around 1 lakh, but this time it has fallen. In the current season, over 7 lakh devotees have registered online for darshan. However, nearly 50% of those who registered themselves online in the past 4 days did not turn up.

07:14 (IST)21 Nov 2018
Vijayan government under fire

The CPI-M led LDF government headed by Pinarayi Vijayan in Kerala has been trying hard to ensure that the Supreme Court’s order is implemented. This has prompted a massive backlash from the BJP and Congress. Several other right-wing groups are also protesting against the government’s stand on the matter, as a result, the government had to deploy a heavy contingent of security officials at the temple and in town to maintain law and order situation.

Sabarimala: Police personnel stand guard as the Sabarimala temple opens for a two-month long pilgrim season, in Sabarimala, Friday, Nov. 16, 2018. (PTI Photo) (Story no. MDS18) (PTI11_16_2018_000157B)The doors of Sabarimala temple were opened on Friday at 5 pm amid tight security for the two-month-long pilgrimage. It has been witnessing protests by Hindu groups and political parties since September 28 when the Supreme Court had in a landmark judgment allowed women of all ages to enter the hill shrine. As per the temple’s centuries-old tradition, girls and women belonging to the menstruation age group are not allowed to offer prayers inside the Sabarimala temple. This verdict had triggered massive protests with thousands of Ayyappa devotees including women hitting the streets to protest against the court’s order. Several review petitions were also filed in the Supreme Court but the court on November 13 said that it will hear the petitions on January 22 and refused to stay its previous order.
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