A Sabarimala Karma Samithi protester named Chandran Unnithan succumbed to the fatal injuries he received during stone-pelting between opposing groups on Wednesday evening at Pandalam in Pathanamthitta district. Two CPI(M) workers, identified as Kannan and Aju, have reportedly been taken into custody, and police will make more arrests in this case.
The protests broke out after two young women below 50 years, Bindu Ammini and Kanakadurga, entered Sabarimala temple on Wednesday morning.
The 52-year-old Koorambala native reportedly suffered a wound to the head at around 6.30 PM and was rushed to a hospital in Pandalam. When his condition worsened, he was moved to a private hospital in Thiruvalla, where he was declared dead.
Chandran Unnithanâ€™s wife, Vijayamma, told media persons gathered at her house that Chandran Unnithan had left home at around 4.30 PM on Wednesday, saying that he would return home shortly. His family members also told reporters that the stones that were thrown at Chandran came from the top of a CPI(M) party office in Pandalam.
They further alleged that his death was the result of police negligence, alleging that they turned a blind eye to battles taking place on the street as part of an agreement with the CPI(M), and said that a strong inquiry needs to be made to trace responsibility in his death.
Pandalam police told Asianet, however, that the protests in Pandalam had been held against the policeâ€™s instructions and without police permission. â€śThe Pandalam CI had warned Sabarimala Karma Samithi that any protests there could turn into a battle given the delicate situation. If the policeâ€™s instructions had been followed, this sad incident would not have happened,â€ť reports Asianet.
Inquest proceedings will begin at the private hospital where Chandran Unnithanâ€™s body is currently being held, at 10 AM, and once they are complete, his body will be taken from the private hospital in Thiruvalla to Kottayam Medical College Hospital for post mortem, after which it will be released to his family members.
A hartal has been declared in the state to protest the entry of two women below 50 years, Bindu Ammini and Kanaka Durga, into Sabarimala temple on Wednesday morning, and to mark the death of Chandran Unnithan in fighting over the issue. Members of the Kerala