KP Sasikala, president of the Hindu Aikya Vedi, who was arrested in the wee hours of Saturday morning for attempting to go to Sabarimala Sannidhanam has begun a hunger strike at the Ranni Police station, where she is currently being held.
“Sasikala is on a hunger strike and is not even consuming water. Her demand is to visit the Sannidhanam,” the SHO of the Ranni police station confirmed to TNM. Officials at the police station also stated that there was a doctor in the station, who was attending to the right-wing leader.
The police have confirmed that she will not be let into the temple on Saturday, despite her hunger strike as they fear that it would stir up communal tensions. Police had arrested Sasikala at 1.30am on Saturday under section 151 or the CrPC (arrest to prevent the commission of cognizable offences). Under the above section, Sasikala cannot be detained for a period of 24 hours.
“She will be taken to the Sub-divisional magistrate court in Thiruvalla first and then, necessary measures would be taken to allow her into the temple if she wants to go. If we let her go now we fear it would create problems at the temple,” the SHO told TNM.
Though Sasikala had told the police that she wanted to visit the temple as she was a devotee and was above 50 years of age, police suspect that she wants to be near the temple only to organise protests.
When the temple had opened twice after the Supreme Court's ruling, KP Sasikala had been near the temple organising protests and even checking documents of women who wanted to enter the temple. Police say they do not want a repeat of such a situation where Hindu outfit leaders like KP Sasikala would block other women.
On Saturday, she was taken into preventive custody as she refused to leave Pamba without going to the Sannidhanam. The police arrested her in Marakootam and she was taken to the Ranni police station in a forest department vehicle.
Apart from Sasikala, the police also took into custody Achara Samrakshana Samithi state convenor Prithvipal and BJP leader P Sudhir at Pamba. A state-wide protest has been organised by right wing groups in Kerala to protests against the arrests. The dawn-to-dusk hartal was reportedly called by the Hindu Aikya Vedi and Sabarimala Karma Samithi on Saturday. The BJP has said it would support the hartal call.