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.