The 69 people who were arrested on Sunday night by the Kerala police at the Sabarimala Sannidhanam for defying prohibitory orders have been remanded for 14 days by the Pathanamthitta munsif court on Monday. The arrested persons will be shifted to the Thiruvananthapuram central jail.
Speaking to TNM, S Rafeek, the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP), Pathanamthitta said that the arrested people have been charged under sections 144, 353, 143, 149 and 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). These sections refer to unlawful assembly, assaulting or using criminal force against a public official, and disobedience to order promulgated by a public official.
The Pathanamthitta court has said that their bail applications will be considered on Wednesday.
The development which occurred post 10.30 pm on Sunday saw scores of devotees and members of right wing groups attempting to occupy the Nadapandal (the enclosure leading to the 18 steps) – which is off limits for devotees post 10 pm. The protesting devotees reportedly demanded to spread their viris or sheets and spend the night at the Nadapandal.
Following this, the police had arrested 69 persons and detained scores of people. The arrested persons were later taken to a police camp in Maniyar during the early hours of Monday.
Hours after the Kerala police detained several protesters at Sabarimala temple, the Kerala High Court in an oral observation on Monday stated that police excess cannot be permitted under the pretext of implementing the Supreme Court verdict which allowed the entry of women of all ages into the temple.
Hearing a petition over the arrangements made at Sabarimala, a special bench for the consideration of Devaswom matters asked the State Attorney under what authority the Kerala police can stop the devotees from exercising their right to worship at the temple.