Sabarimala row: Activist Rahul Easwar booked for ‘spill blood’ remark

 New Delhi: Activist Rahul Easwar was arrested on Sunday morning for his alleged provocative remarks on the Sabarimala temple issue. He was arrested due to his controversial remarks stating that if any woman between the ages 10 and 50 entered the temple there were about 20 people waiting to cut their own hands and spill blood in Sabarimala, thereby forcing it to close due to desecration.

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A case was registered against Easwar, who belongs to the Thazhamon family of Sabarimala priests, on the basis of a complaint filed by a person from Thiruvananthapuram, the police said.

Rahul Easwar was arrested by Kochi police on Sunday morning from his apartment in Thiruvananthapuram. He posted from his Twitter account at 10.16 AM on Sunday saying that he was being arrested, and later, at 10.36 AM, that police were not allowing him to eat breakfast, and told him they were taking him to a hospital, but instead took him to the Central Police Station in Kochi next to Kochi High Court.

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He was previously arrested on October 17 from Sabarimala hill for obstructing police from carrying out their duties and unlawful assembly, through the course of his involvement in protests there. His wife, Deepa Rahul Easwar, at the time claimed he had been arrested in secret, and carried away from Sabarimala hill in a tractor under a tarpaulin sheet.

3,345 protesters arrested

  • As per reports, over 3,345 protesters who prevented women from entering the Sabarimala temple, have been arrested since October 26 while 517 cases have been registered at various police stations across Kerala
  • In the last 12 hours, over 500 arrests were recorded at police stations in Pathanamthitta district — where the Lord Ayyappa shrine is located — as well as Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, and Ernakulam. So far only 122 are in remand, while others have been released on bail, according to the police.
  • However, Kerala Police chief Loknath Behra has directed that no arrest should be made of those people who protested by taking part in singing hymns and prayers.
  • These arrests have been made for defying the September 28 Supreme Court order that overturned a ban on women of menstrual age (10-50 years) from entering the hilltop temple where celibate deity Lord Ayyappa is worshipped.

Political stands

  • The arrest of the Rahul Easwar, who heads the ‘Ayyappa Dharma Sena’, hasn’t gone down well with the BJP. “The BJP condemns the police action on Rahul Easwar and also those associated with the protests over the Sabarimala issue,” Kerala BJP president PS Sreedharan Pillai was quoted as saying in media reports.
  • Defending the arrests, state Communist Party of India – Marxist (CPI-M) Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan on Sunday said that this was normal police action when the rule of law is breached.
  • “During the previous Congress-led UDF rule, over four lakh cases were registered against our workers. Is it not natural for the police to act when rules are broken?” asked Balakrishnan.