BJP leader remanded to 14-day judicial custody in Sabarimala row

BJP Kerala General Secretary K Surendran, who was taken into preventive custody as he tried to proceed to the Lord Ayappa Temple, was produced before a magistrate today and remanded to 14-day judicial custody, after he was charged with non-bailable offences. Later, he was shifted to Kottarakara sub-jail.

Surendran, who had ‘Irrumudikettu” (holy bundle of offerings for Lord Ayyappa) was taken into custody from Nilackal last night as he along with two others was on his way to the temple at Sabarimala.

Strongly protesting agaisnt his arrest, state BJP President P.S. Sreedharan Pillai lametned that Kerala was under “jungle raj”. “Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is arrogant and was behaving in an irrational manner. The present impasse in the state over the Sabarimala issue is his creation. We will strongly resist, he alleged.

Surendran was asked by Superintendent of Police Yatish Chandra not to proceed towards Sabarimala but he did not heed. They were then taken into preventive custody and brought to Chittar Police Station last night. He alleged that he was assaulted by police, not given water, food and medicines. He charged that the arrest was politically motivated and a retaliatory action by the state government.

Protestors had gathered in large numbers in front of the Chittar Police Station last night soon after the BJP leaders and others were brought to the police station. BJP workers had protested in front of the state secretariat at Thiruvananthapuram and across the state including Kochi, Kottayam and Kannur against the police action.

The BJP is observing a “protest” day today and will be blocking vehicles on highways from 10 am. It may be recalled that Kerala had observed a 12-hour hartal against the arrest of Hindu Aikya Vedi president P K Sasikala on Saturday.

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