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'Sabarimala protests were against police high-handedness, not

women's entry issue'

Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 30 (PTI): Former Union minister

and lone BJP MLA in the Kerala assembly, O Rajagopal, Friday

said that the Sabarimala protests were against the police

high-handedness and not against the women's entry issue.

"The protests at Sabarimala were not over the women's

entry issue," he told a TV channel, adding that they were

against the lack of basic amenities at the hill-top shrine.

BJP state chief P S Sreedharan Pillai had earlier

declared that they were halting the protests at Sabarimala

and taking it to the front of the secretariat here, a move

which the Opposition Congress has dubbed as a compromise

between the ruling LDF and the right-wing parties.

"The agitation in front of the secretariat is BJP's

political protest. Shifting to the secretariat was part of

intensifying the protest and not compromising,"Rajagopal said.

Pillai had expressed similar views and said that the

Sabarimala protests was against the CPI(M)-led LDF government

and not against the Supreme Court decision, allowing entry of

women of all age groups into the shrine.

Meanwhile, BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP V Muraleedharan

said that no BJP leader or worker would agree to compromise

with the CPI(M) on the protest.

"None of the BJP leaders and workers, who have

self-respect, will agree to compromise the Sabarimala

protest," he said.

However, it was learnt that the state RSS unit was also

unhappy with the BJP leadership over the manner in which the

arrest of party's state general secretary K Surendran was

dealt with.

Pillai had earlier faced flak from within his party over

the lack of vigor in protests against the arrest of Surendran

from the base camp at Nilackal.

The Supreme Court will hear in open court on January 22 a

batch of review petitions on the matter.

The top court had on September 28 paved the way for entry

of women of all ages into the Sabarimala temple, saying that

the ban on entry of menstrual age women amounted to gender


Surendran was once again denied bail in a case related to

the attack on a 52-year-old woman who came to visit the shrine

during the Chithira Atta festival earlier this month.

Meanwhile, the Pathanamthitta distirct administration,

under which Sabarimala falls, has extended the prohibitory

orders till December 4.

The shrine has been under a heavy security blanket since

November 17, the day when it was opened for the annual two

month-long pilgrimage season.

Police had said that the restriction was in the backdrop

of the frenzied protests witnessed at the shrine over the

state government's decision to implement the September 28 apex

court order.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)



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