Kerala police on Thursday arrested eight persons for pelting stones on the buses which were carrying women who were participating for the Ayyappa Jyothi event in Payyannur, organised by the Sabarimala Karma Samithi on Wednesday. An official from the Payyannur police station told TNM that all the 8 persons who were arrested belonged to the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) and that they were natives of Payyannur in Kannur district.
The police official said that the arrested persons were later released on bail.
During the attack, the buses were damaged and a few of the organisers suffered minor injuries. Police said that two women were admitted in hospital after suffering minor injuries during the attack. The incident took place in the area between Perumba and Kalikkadavu.
In a statement on Thursday, BJP district president P Sathyaprakash said that the attacks showed that the CPI (M) was annoyed by the success of the Ayyappa Jyothi campaign.
On Wednesday, thousands of people, including a large number of women participated in the Ayyappa Jyothi event organised by the Sabarimala Karma Samithi and were backed by the BJP. The event was held to counter the Kerala government's Women's Wall, which is an attempt to raise awareness about the LDF governmentâ€™s stand on the Sabarimala issue.
During the event, devotees belonging to various Hindu organisations as well as the general public lit thousands of lamps forming a human chain, from Kasargod district to Kaliyakavilai in Kanyakumari district on the Kerala- TN border. Incidentally, this is the same route where the state governmentâ€™s proposed Vanitha Mathil (Womenâ€™s Wall) will take place on January 1.
The Karma Samithi, along with other right-wing organisations, has been organising state-wide protests against the entry of women of menstruating ages to the shrine, ever since the SC verdict came on September 28. The government at the same time has been firm that the verdict should be implemented, and if not, it would be taking forward the renaissance movement.