In the latest incident of protests that rocked Sabarimala, two women were blocked from entering the temple on Monday. The Kerala police have slapped cases on 200 people.
Speaking to TNM, an official from the Sannidhanam police station confirmed that a case has been registered against 150 persons under section 353 of the IPC (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty).
Meanwhile, a similar case has also been registered by the Pamba police station against 40 persons for attempting to block the two women at Appachimedu from entering the Sabarimala shrine.
The women, Bindu and Kanakadurga, aged 42 and 44 respectively, were attempting to climb the hill shrine amid tight police security and protests. Unlike on Sunday, when the police refused to provide protection to the 11-member women group from the Manithi organisation in Tamil Nadu who had visited the temple, Bindu and Kanakadurga were provided heavy police escort. A team of 50 odd police personnel led by special officer Jayadev IPS led the women up until Chandranandan road - a narrow lane between Marakootam and Sannidhanam. But just a kilometre away from the Sannidhanam, the women were stopped in their tracks after protests grew bigger and several protestors blocked their way to the temple.
Following this, the police advised them to return without visiting the temple citing a law and order issue. However, on their refusal to return without praying at the temple, the police personnel had to forcibly escort them downhill.
Speaking to media persons, Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran argued that the police were forced to provide protection taking into consideration the safety of the two women.
‚ÄúThere is a need for the police to talk to them about reconsidering their decision because we do not want any conflict near the temple that could affect innocent devotees. There are around 1 and half lakh people between Sannidhanam and Pamba and they are irate,‚ÄĚ he said.
On Sunday, the Pamba police arrested 11 protestors following violent demonstrations against the group of 11 women from Tamil Nadu who attempted to visit Sabarimala.
(With inputs from Sreedevi Jayarajan)