Activist Rahul Easwar Charged For Provocative Remarks On Sabarimala Issue

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Activist Rahul Easwar was among those who spearheaded the frenzied protests in Sabarimala. (File)

Kochi:

A case was registered against activist Rahul Easwar today for allegedly making provocative statement on the Sabarimala issue, police said.

A case was registered against Mr Easwar, who belongs to the Thazhamon family of Sabarimala tantris (priests), on the basis of a complaint filed by a Thiruvananthapuram native, they said.

He has been charged under IPC Section 153 (Wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot).

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Mr Easwar, among those who spearheaded the frenzied protests in Sabarimala, had said they had a contingency plan to force the closure of the temple by spilling blood on its premises by some devotees in case any woman in the 'barred' age group managed to reach it.

He had claimed that 20 Lord Ayyappa devotees opposing the entry of women in the age group of 10 and 50 were ready to inflict knife injuries on themselves on the temple premises which would have forced the priests to close the gates on account of impurity.

"Had their blood fallen on the floor of the temple, that would have forced the priests to shut the shrine for three days for purification rituals," Mr Easwar, President of the 'Ayyappa Dharma Sena', had told reporters in Kochi.

Kerala Devaswom Minister Kadakkampally Surendran had claimed yesterday that effective police intervention had foiled the protesters' bid to "desecrate" the Ayyappa Temple by spilling blood in the premises if women devotees in the 10-50 age group offered prayers.

He had said the "conspiracy" of the devotees was made clear by the statement of Ayyappa Dharma Sena president Mr Easwar.

"This was a planned attempt to desecrate the holy temple, but effective police intervention defeated their efforts," Mr Surendran had said.

The Minister had said the disclosure showed that there was a well-conceived plan, similar to that followed by nations to attack their enemies and added that this attempt was not only 'seditious,' but also against the interest of devotees.

The temple had witnessed high drama with around a dozen women in 10-50 age group being prevented from entering the temple by protesting devotees after the doors were opened for all women following the Supreme Court verdict.

The Kerala High Court had yesterday dismissed a Public Interest Litigation seeking barring of entry of women in the menstrual age group into the Sabarimala hill shrine till additional facilities were set up for them, and said the petitioner can approach the Supreme Court.

On September 28, a five-judge Constitution bench of the Top Court, headed by then Chief Justice Dipak Misra, had lifted the centuries-old ban on the entry of women of menstrual age into the shrine.

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