Udayavni Special

Sabarimala: BJP workers defy prohibitory orders, attempt to wave black flags at CM


Team Udayavani, Dec 2, 2018, 7:35 PM IST

Nilakkal/Chengannur: Amid charges that the BJP has diluted its agitation against the entry of young women into the Sabarimala temple, some party workers, led by its state general secretary B Gopalakrishnan, Sunday defied prohibitory orders at Nilakkal, the pilgrim base camp located about 20 km from the hill shrine.

Eight BJP activists, who were on their way to Sabarimala, were stopped by police at Nilakkal. They violated the prohibitory orders by squatting on road and chanting ‘swamiye saram ayyappa’.

In an unrelated incident, activists of BJP’s youth wing, Yuva Morcha, attempted to wave black flags at Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at Mulakkuzha near Chengannur when he was on his way to attend a function there.

Two people were arrested in connection with this incident, police said.

Five Mahila Morcha activists, who staged ‘nama japa’ (chanting of mantras) protest at the chief minister’s programme venue, were also arrested, they said.

The women, who managed to enter the venue, stood up and chanted mantras when Vijayan was about to begin his speech.

Police rushed to the spot and removed them from the venue.

Gopalakrishnan later told reporters that the BJP would continue to agitate till police lift the prohibitory orders and other restrictions imposed in and around the hill shrine.

He slammed the Vijayan-led LDF government for allegedly filing false cases against party general secretary K Surendran, who was arrested en route to Sabarimala last month.

The BJP recently announced its decision to shift its protest from the temple complex to the state capital. But since then, the party has been facing allegations that it was backtracking from the agitation.

BJP state president P S Sreedharan Pillai had rejected the charges and said the move was to expand the stir across the state.

He had also said the party would launch an indefinite fast before the Secretariat from December 3 and block state ministers in support of its various demands, including lifting of prohibitory orders and providing basic amenities to pilgrims in and around the Lord Ayyappa temple.

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

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