After being on an indefinite strike against the prohibitory orders at Sabarimala since December 3, Kerala BJP leader CK Padmanabhan was arrested and admitted to the Thiruvananthapuram medical college hospital on Wednesday. Taking over the reigns from him for the relay fast was BJP state general secretary Sobha Surendran.
Earlier, BJP General Secretary AN Radhakrishnan had begun the relay fast and continued for 8 days until he was hospitalised. It was following this that CK Padmanabhan took over the fast. As his health too had deteriorated since Wednesday, Sobha is set to take charge after him.
The relay fast that was started on December 3 is held in front of the secretariat in the state capital. The protesters made several demands such as withdrawing of the prohibitory orders at imposed at Sabarimala (which will end on December 22) and removing of heavy police deployment to ensure peace at the temple.
Sabarimala witnessed massive protests by right wing groups and devotees during the month of October when the temple opened for the first time after the September 28, Supreme Court verdict which allows women of all ages to enter the hill shrine. It was following this that police deployment was amped up at the hill shrine and prohibitory orders were imposed.