ANI had earlier tweeted, “Police officials informed media in Sannidhanam and Pamba to vacate the area as police had inputs of a targeted attack being planned on the media.”

Kerala police never asked media to leave Sabarimala IG Sreejith to TNM Facebook
news Sabarimala Monday, October 22, 2018 - 14:08

After reports that the media was asked to vacate the Sabarimala premises over rumours of a ‘planned attack’ on journalists covering women’s attempts to enter the temple, IG Sreejith confirmed to The News Minute that there was no such input received and the media was never asked to leave the spot.  

In fact, the police officer told TNM that he personally called up three reporters present at Sabarimala and assured them that the police will provide them with full protection.

“I called them and asked them why they are leaving. I told them the police will provide them with full protection. However, they said they feared damage to their equipment,” IG S Sreejith told TNM.

TNM also spoke to two of the three reporters and they confirmed that they did receive a call from the police officer asking them there was no need to leave.  

News agency ANI had earlier on Monday tweeted, “Police officials informed media in Sannidhanam and Pamba to vacate the area as police had inputs of a targeted attack being planned on the media.”  A few other reporters said that Pattanamthitta Superintendent of Police had asked them to leave.

The gates of the temple opened on the night of October 17 for the first time after the historic verdict of Supreme Court which allowed women of all ages to enter the temple.  

Journalists have been stationed at Pamba and Nilakkal over the past five days covering attempts by women between the ages of 10 and 50 to enter the Sabarimala temple. On the second day, four women journalists, who tried to go up the Sabarimala Hill to report, were attacked and assaulted by violent mobs. The equipment and vehicles of the media channels were also vandalised.

Several journalists have also complained of rude and abusive behaviour against them from the devotees who claim that the media is ‘propagating false information’ about the issue and is taking an ‘anti-devotee’ stand.  

Organisations like Yuva Morcha, the youth wing of the BJP, had said that they will go to any extent to make sure that no women between the ages of 10 and 50 will enter the sanctum sanctorum of the famous temple.

Over 10 women between the age group of 10 and 50 years had attempted to enter the Sabarimala temple during the last 5 days but they were sent back following intense protests by the devotees.

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