BJP state general secretary K Surendran, released from jail after 22 days for his alleged involvement in protests at Sabarimala, Saturday alleged that activists of DYFI, youth wing of the ruling CPI(M), were behind the violence at the hill-top shrine on November 6.
He was speaking to the media at a ‘meet-the-press’ programme organised by the Press Club here. “A DYFI team from Thrissur was behind the violence during the “Chithira Aata Thirunal”, a special puja at the temple. They were not able to do what they had planned as we were there. Truth will prevail,”, Surendran said.
The Kerala High Court Friday had granted conditional bail to Surendran in a case related to alleged attack on a 52-year old woman pilgrim by frenzied Lord Ayyappa devotees at the Sabarimala Temple on November 6 when the temple was opened for the special puja.
Criticising the state government’s decision to line up a ‘wall of women’ from Kasaragod in the northern end to the capital city, with the participation of various progressive organisations, Surendran alleged the initiative was to seek support for entry of women into Sabarimala.
“Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan should explain to devotees whether this wall is an attempt to garner support for his government’s plan to allow entry of women into Sabarimala,’ he said, adding that it was Vijayan’s attitude that had worsened the situation at the hill-top shrine.
He also said the organisers of the ‘wall of women’ were already ‘confused’ as Vellappally Natesan, the chairman of the organising committee, had said that the initiative was to uphold the socio-cultural values of society and not against the entry of women to Sabarimala.
Asked about the cases against him, Surendran said there are five “false” cases registered against him.
“What police did to me was clearly in violation of my human rights. I was taken to Kannur from Kottarakkara sub-jail which was a 12 hour journey, in a police bus. A police officer who brought me tea was suspended,” Surendran alleged.
He also said that the conspiracy charge in a case related to the violence at Sabarimala was added to his name 17 days after the incident.
Surendran was initially arrested on November 17 from Nilackal, the base camp, while on his way to the Sabarimala Temple after he attempted to defy prohibitory orders and refused to go back despite a request from police.
He was granted bail in the case on November 21 by a court in Pathanamthitta, but remained in prison till date as he was also booked in various other cases, including the alleged attack on the woman pilgrim.
The Kerala High Court had asked him to surrender his passport and not to enter Pathanamthitta district, in which the Lord Ayyappa temple is located, till the charge sheet in the case was filed and to furnish a bail bond of Rs two lakh.
The woman pilgrim, who had come to the ‘Sannidhanam’ (temple complex) for the ‘choorunu’ (rice feeding ceremony) of her grandchild, was blocked and allegedly attacked by angry devotees on November 6, during a special puja, suspecting her to be in the “barred” age group of 10-50.
Sabarimala had witnessed violent protests by a section of devotees against the state government’s decision to implement the September 28 verdict of the Supreme Court, allowing entry of women of all age groups into the shrine.
Meanwhile, soon after his release, Surendran visited BJP General Secretary A N Radhakrishnan, who is on an indefinite fast in front of the Secretariat for the past six days, demanding, among others, lifting of prohibitory orders.