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Police stop Union Minister’s car at Pampa; Apologises

In a case of mistaken identity, police at Pampa flagged down a car from Union minister Pon Radhakrishnan’s convoy, taking it to be protester vehicle. SP Harishankar letter handed over a written apology over the confusion that delayed minister’s journey by 30 minutes.

The incident took place near KSRTC bus stand around 1 am when Radhakrishnan was returning from Sabarimala temple after darshan there.

Incidentally, the minister had a mild rough-up with Harikumar earlier, while proceeding to the shrine.

The minister then had got out of his car asking, why  devotee vehicles were not allowed past Nilakal to reach Pampa, while state transporter KSRTC was running up to the point.

The SP reportedly told the minister, he was prepared to allow the convoy upto Pampa if the minister sought the same in writing.

“He asked me if I would take responsibility. Can the SP demand so to a state minister of Kerala?” Radhakrishnan told reporters later.

Asked of his view on the controversial Supreme Court verdict, the minister said “I dont want to get into that… Harassing devotees should be stopped, that’s all.”

Pon Radhakrishnan is Union Minister of State for Shipping and commenced his journey to Sabarimala from from Nagercoil on Tuesday.

Sabarimala on 16 Nov opened the third time after the Supreme Court verdict that  triggered massive protest at the hills, where protesters in large numbers thwarted police time each time they tried to escort a young woman to the shrine.