Rahul Easwar, who belongs to the Thantri family of Sabarimala and is the president of the Ayyappa Dharma Sena, was detained by the Pamba police on Wednesday. He is a part of the ‘Save Sabarimala’ campaign. Sabarimala is to open its doors to all devotees today, but there is fierce opposition to women entering the temple. Multiple reporters have been mobbed and attacked. According to ANI, a non-bailable FIR has been filed against him.
Speaking to Republic, Rahul's wife Deepa Vijayan said he was arrested after he tried to stop three women police personnel, who were deployed in Pamba, from entering Sabarimala, on the grounds that the Kerala Chief Minister promised that there will be no women police personnel beyond the Pamba entry point.
"I didn't hit any woman there. I was moving to the other direction. It's a vendetta against me," Rahul Easwar told ANI.
“Latest I've heard is that he's been arrested, and earlier, three women cops who were trying to enter beyond Pamba and while inquiring, as Kerala CM had said no women constables would go beyond Pamba, he questioned them. There was no violence,” Deepa Vijayan told Republic.
Earlier, another case was ordered against him by the Alappuzha Judicial First Class Magistrate. Social worker Subash M Theekadan had given a petition at the court, accusing Rahul Easwar of calling for violence during television debates. Magistrate R Rajitha, who received the petition, ordered the Alappuzha South police to investigate.
On Wednesday, Rahul Easwar told the media that they would not forcefully stop anyone and that they would peacefully protest. He said that various devotee forums would chant prayers and not protest.
“We, the devotees, would stand here very peacefully and pray, following Gandhian ways. We hope that the Devaswom Board and the ministers will hear our prayer,” he said.
Several women devotees, who were stopped at many areas, had to beat a hasty retreat fearing the mob.