Kerala CM refutes BJP’s allegations on Surendran’s arrest


Team Udayavani, Dec 3, 2018, 5:41 PM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan Monday dismissed the BJP’s charge that its state general secretary K Surendran, who was en route to Sabarimala last month, was put behind bars in false cases.

Surendran, along with two others, was arrested on November 18 from the Nilackal base camp at Sabarimala as he attempted to proceed to the Ayyappa temple, despite being advised by the police against it due to law-and-order issues.

The chief minister, replying to a submission of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA O Rajagopal on Surendran’s arrest, said there were 15 cases against the BJP leader, including for unlawful assembly, destroying public property and violating prohibitory orders.

Of these, eight cases were registered before 2016, three were in the investigation stage and the other cases in the trial stage in different courts, Vijayan said in his reply tabled in the state Assembly.

During the “Chitira Attatirunal”, a special puja held at the Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala last month, prohibitory orders were in force and a 52-year-old woman, who had come for her grandchild’s “chorrunnu” (rice-feeding ceremony), was illegally blocked, assaulted and insulted by frenzied devotees under the leadership of Surendran at Nadapandal, suspecting that she was in the 10-50 age group.

A relative of a woman was also assaulted and a case was lodged by the police at the “sannidhanam” (temple complex), the chief minister said, adding that Surendran was the 13th accused in the case.

Since the September 28 verdict of the Supreme Court, allowing women of all ages to enter the temple, no woman in the 10-50 age group has been able to reach the shrine due to frenzied protests by the devotees.

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