The Kerala police have taken screengrabs of CCTV visuals and made a collage of 210 men suspected to have indulged in violence during the protests in Sabarimala last week. Speaking to TNM, Pathanamthitta DCP Narayanan T said that the album of suspects has been sent to all 14 districts of the state. However, details of the arrests are yet to be made public.
"Sabarimala case is something that involves all the districts of Kerala (as people from different places came to Pathanamthitta to protest). We took images of the suspects from CCTV footages and have sent them to all district police chiefs. Now the identification process of the suspects is happening," he said. As of Thursday evening, more than 1000 people had been arrested.
The Sabarimala temple shut down for the month on Monday. More than 10 women tried to enter the temple unsuccessfully as violent mobs attacked and threatened them on their way to the temple. Several female reporters from media houses too were heckled and beaten up by 'devotee' groups in Pamba, who were against the Supreme Court verdict allowing women of menstruating age to enter the temple.
Addressing the media, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan condemned the violence at the temple and stated that this was a deliberate and pre-planned attack. He called it a politically motivated move by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to create an atmosphere of tension in the state. He also said that RSS was even trying to paint the Kerala cops in a communal way. Earlier this week, WhatsApp forwards praising IG Sreejith, who led a 1000-strong police battalion which escorted two women to the Sannithanam, did the rounds as he was spotted praying at the temple on the last day. Meanwhile, several messages and social media posts trolling IG Manoj Abraham, who was in charge of the security for women in Sabarimala, were shared.
The protests are set to resume in November, when the temple will open during the Mandala season.