Thousands of pilgrims offered prayers at Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala early Saturday, the first day of Malayalam month of ‘Vrischikom,’ even as a 12-hour shutdown was initiated against the preventive detention of a Hindu Aikya Vedi leader. Pilgrims, including children, queued up in large numbers since the temple opened at 3 am, PTI reported.
Hindu Aikyavedi state President K P Sasikala was later released on a bail after the court the same day after she was issued a showcause notice, while the dawn to dusk shutdown continued in the state. A young couple traveling in a car were attacked by protesters for defying the hartal and were immediately rushed to a hospital, said The News Minute report.
The Travancore Decvaswom Board which manages the shrine announced its decision to move Supreme Court seeking more time to implement its verdict. Police personnel were on their toes until late evening today as they also detained BJP Secretary K Surendran citing law and order concern.
Normal life was affected in the state as the shutdown progressed public transport services were disrupted, however buses in Sabarimala continued plying.