Sabarimala : The Sabarimala Karma Samithi called for flash hartal from 6 am to 6 pm today, following arrest of senior Sangh Parivar leader and Hindu Aikya Vedi state president KP Sasikala in wee hours of Saturday.
Police intercepted her near Marakkottam at Sabarimala and arrested her after she refused to be persuaded to give up her pilgrimage there.
“I have come for pilgrimage here but police did not let me proceed and arrested me without informing my fellow pilgrims,” Sasikala said while returning with her irumuddikettu(a bundle with auspicious offerings for Lord Ayyappa).
Post the arrest she was taken to Pampa in a forest department ambulance and then via bus to Ranni.
Police claim the incident is only a preventive detention.
Elaborate security arrangements including heavy police deployment has been made at the Sabarimla which opened for the third time on Friday for the two-month-long pilgrimage season, after the controversial Supreme Court verdict.
On its first day of its opening on Friday, Kochi airport witnessed tense standoff between hundreds of protesters and officials there over self-styled activist Trupti Desai’s bid to visit Sabarimala. She was sent home packing by demonstrations that continued to gain heat every passing hour.
The drama prompted the temple’s custodian, the Travancore Devaswom Board, to knock at Supreme Court doors urging more time before the verdict may be implemented by the state.
The Supreme Court is slated to hear petitions seeking review of its 28 Sept order in Jan and refused to stay it earlier.
Also read : Taste of Kerala, Trupti Desai sent packing