With hours remaining for the Sabarimala shrine’s opening ‘Nada Thurakkal’, Kerala Police has come down heavily on the protestors and have shut down the protesting camp at Nilakkal, reports News18.
The Pandalam royals along with the family of the shrine’s Chief Priest were also arrested and removed from the protesting tents, having been detained subsequently. Reports suggest that they were peacefully protesting by chanting mantras dedicated to Lord Ayyappa and there were no provocations that necessitated the arrest.
The former Travancore Devaswom Board Chairperson Prayar Gopalakrishnan who had moved to Sabarimala to join the protests was also arrested along with his wife. He slammed the government crack down on ‘Nama Japa’ protests of the Tantri family, and stressed that they haven’t blocked anyone from entering Sabarimala.
As many as 500 police personnel, including women officers, have been deployed to ensure a safe passage to the pilgrims to the Lord Ayyappa temple. Meanwhile, Kerala state minister K K Shailaja said that the protestors are engaging in politics and questioned whether they were actually devotees.
Rahul Easwar, an activist from the priest family who is leading the protests against the Sabarimala verdict, has also reportedly been detained by the police.
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