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Sabarimala row: Rightwing Hindu outfits call one-day strike in Kerala


Rightwing Hindu outfits including Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and others have called for a one-day strike in Kerala on Saturday. Notably, the strike was called in protest against the arrest of a senior Sangh Parivar leader who was on the pilgrimage to Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple.

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Talking to news agency PTI, VHP state president S J R Kumar alleged that Hindu Aikyavedi state President K P Sasikala was arrested by police near Marakkoottam near Sabarimala at 2.30 am on Saturday.

“She was arrested as she was on the way to the hill shrine carrying ‘irumudikkettu’ to offer prayers. Some other activists have been taken into preventive custody,” he added. Kumar also accused the Kerala government of trying to destroy the Sabarimala temple.

However, he asserted that the essential services and vehicles of Ayyappa devotees will not be affected by the strike.

Meanwhile, women’s rights activist Trupti Desai returned to Pune without visiting Sabarimala Temple. After reaching Pune, Trupti said that she will next visit the hill shrine unannounced using “guerilla tactics”.

On Friday evening, Sabarimala Temple reopened for the third time after Supreme Court on September 28 allowed women of all age group to offer prayers at the hilltop Lord Ayyappa temple.

It is to be noted that after the judgement, Kerala witnessed massive protests by Lord Ayyappa devotees opposing the entry of girls and women of menstrual age into the Sabarimala temple since the government decided to implement the Supreme Court order.

Over 3,000 people were arrested for creating a ruckus over the issue and over 500 people have been chargesheeted by the police for violence. So far, no woman in the age group of 10-50 years has yet been able to visit Sabarimala temple since the top court’s order.

Also Read: Sabarimala row: Trupti Desai returns Pune, vows to visit shrine using ‘guerilla tactics’

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