Sabarimala, Nov 17
Soon after the 12-hrs hartal, Kerala Police on Saturday arrested BJP Kerala General Secretary K Surendran at Nilakkal, the main base camp during the festival season at Lord Ayyapa temple. ( See : Strike)
Mr K Surendran and four others, who also accompanied him were also taken into preventive custody by a police team led by SP Yathish Chandra. The BJP leader, who was on his way to Sabarimala with the customary, ‘Irumudi Kettu,’ was forcefully whisked away in a police jeep at around 1920 hrs.
Talking to newspersons before the arrest, the BJP leader complained that the police was trying to deny his fundamental rights by not allowing to go to the temple for performing Poojas.”I came here with vehicle pass from the police department and the receipts issued by the Devaswom Board for performing special Poojas including ‘Neyyabisekam.
BJP Keralam, in a tweet, said that the LDF government had failed in providing basic necessities to pilgrims who were undertaking the trek to offer prayers at the shrine, thus proving to be unable to protect devotees right to pray. They also condemned the preventive custody of K P Sasikala. RSS leader J Nandakumar alleged that the state police had enforced a ‘brutal crackdown’ on the Hindus in Kerala.
See also: Trupti Desai
In retaliation to BJP’s tweets, Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac took to Twitter regarding Sasikala’s arrest. He said, “Sorry, you break law, you will be booked, hartal or no hartal.” He also described BJP as the ‘hartal party of Kerala’ as they had recorded 38 hartals- regional and statewide- in the past year.