HC terms protests against SC or­der 'un­jus­ti­fi­able'


THE Ker­ala High Court on Thurs­day termed as "un­jus­ti­fi­able" ag­i­ta­tions launched by var­i­ous groups against the SC ver­dict per­mit­ting en­try of women of all age groups into the Lord Ayyappa tem­ple in Sabari­mala. Jus­tice Su­nil Thomas agreed with the state govern­ment's con­tention that the protests and the vi­o­lence that oc­curred re­cently at the hill shrine and its key en­try points were against SC’s di­rec­tives.

"Ag­i­ta­tions are un­jus­ti­fi­able," the court said while dis­miss­ing a bail ap­pli­ca­tion filed by Govind Mad­hu­soodan of Thrip­punithura, who was ar­rested in con­nec­tion with clashes with po­lice at Ni­lackal, when the tem­ple doors were opened for monthly puja last month.

“Ag­i­ta­tions caused se­ri­ous hard­ships to the devo­tees. If bail is granted in such cases, that may lead to rep­e­ti­tion of sim­i­lar in­ci­dents," the court said.

He was ar­rested for al­legedly block­ing ve­hi­cles at Ni­lackal and at­tempt­ing to as­sault women devo­tees. Sev­eral jour­nal­ists were at­tacked by devo­tees when the tem­ple was opened for six days on Oct 17 for the first time af­ter the SC or­der. At­tempts by around a dozen women, in­clud­ing ac­tivists and jour­nal­ists in the 10-50 age group, to script his­tory came to nought as protests by devo­tees forced them to re­treat.

On Novem­ber 6, around 200 devo­tees tried to pre­vent a woman pil­grim from en­ter­ing the hill­top shrine, sus­pect­ing her to be of men­strual age, and al­legedly at­tacked a cam­era­man of a Malay­alam tele­vi­sion news chan­nel.

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