With prohibitory orders imposed in towns of northern Kerala including Palakkad, the total number of arrests has gone up to 1369, additionally, 717 people being taken into preventive custody since Thursday night after widespread protests erupted over the entry of women of all ages in the sanctum sanctorum of the Sabarimala temple.
“Prohibitory order has been imposed till 6 PM today after considering the tense situation prevailing in the town. We have called for an all-party meeting at 4 pm. Further decisions will be taken after that meeting,” Palakkad District Collector D Balamurali was quoted as saying by PTI.
According to the latest figures, the highest number of arrests, 125, have been made from Kochi city, followed by 233 arrests in Ernakulam rural, 174 in Alappuzha district. Meanwhile, most number of people taken into preventive custody comes from Idukki district. The situation became tense in Palakkad after protests took a violent turn and offices of CPI(M), CPI and BJP were attacked.
The protests began a day after two women offered prayers in the Sabarimala temple. Bindu Ammini, a resident of Koyilandy in Kozhikode district, and Kanakadurga, a native of Angadipuram in Malappuram district, entered the temple with a police escort around 3:45 am on Wednesday. They had previously attempted to climb the hill on December 24, before being blocked by protesters.
The RSS backed Sabarimala Karma Samithi aided by the BJP has mounted pressure on the government over the SC verdict. BJP state president PS Sreedharan Pillai called Vijayan a ‘modern-day Aurangzeb who was out to destroy Hindu temples’. “The ruling administration in Kerala consists of cheats. The way the women were taken to the temple smacked of a planned, organised conspiracy. The stand of the BJP has been vindicated. The ruling CPM was out to destroy the traditions of Sabarimala.”
(With inputs from PTI)