Sabarimala protests: Opposition Congress-led UDF workers staged a protest in Nilakkal on Tuesday demanding the withdrawal of prohibitory orders in and around Sabarimala temple that is at the centre of a row over Supreme Court’s decision to allow entry of women of all age groups. According to local media reports, several UDF leaders including former CM and Congress Oommen Chandy violated prohibitory orders and dared police to arrest them. They also raised ‘go back’ slogans against police and chanted ‘swamiye saranam ayyappa’ mantras.
The Sabarimala temple is located about 20 kms away from Nilakkal. The temple has been witnessing intense protests by devotees against the implementation of the Supreme Court’s 28 judgment. The state government has clamped prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPc banning assembly of four or more people in Sabarimala and surrounding areas in view of the protests.
On Monday, at least 69 people were arrested by the police after Sunday’s nigh crackdown and were remanded 14 days of judicial custody by a local court. As the news about arrests spread, protesters went on a rampage across the state. They also assembled outside Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s residence in Thiruvananthapuram and shouted slogans.