VT Balram’s statement comes in stark contrast to that of other Congress leaders including State Working President K Sudhakaran, who had supported Rahul Easwar following his arrest.

Congress is with devotees not vandals VT Balram supports Sabarimala arrests
news Politics Monday, October 29, 2018 - 09:40

Congress MLA VT Balram took to Facebook to support the arrests made by the LDF government against those suspected to have indulged in violence protests at Sabarimala. “It is the responsibility of the state government to deal with the RSS criminals who have conspired to spill blood and urinate and desecrate the Sannithanam at Sabarimala,” he said referring to Rahul Easwar’s controversial speech. 

Rahul Easwar, activist and president of the Ayyappa Dharma Sena, was arrested on Sunday for his statements around the controversial Sabarimala women’s temple entry issue. Rahul Easwar, who was arrested for the second time in over 10 days, had last week stated that if any woman between the ages 10 and 50 entered the temple there were about 20 people waiting to cut their own hands and spill blood in Sabarimala, thereby forcing it to close due to desecration.

“Such people should be arrested is the strong belief of every true Congress person and Ayyappa devotee’s demand. Congress is with the devotees, not with the vandals,” Balram added. His statement, however, comes in stark contrast to that of other Congress leaders including State Working President K Sudhakaran, who had supported Rahul Easwar. 

Earlier Balram in a separate Facebook post had said that he was in support of the Supreme Court verdict for women’s entry into Sabarimala, a direct contradiction to the stance taken by his party. However, he stated that that his was a personal view and that he understood the party’s need to support the large section of devotees, considering their feelings. 

He also reminded people that Congress President Rahul Gandhi and not Rahul Easwar was their leader. 

Rahul Easwar was arrested on Sunday by the Kochi police after a case was filed against him by a Thiruvananthapuram native. A non-bailable FIR was registered by Kochi police on Friday after he made the controversial remarks at a press meet in Kochi. He had been booked under Section 117 (abetting commission of offence by the public or by more than ten persons) and Section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) of the IPC and 118(E) of the Kerala Police Act.

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