BJP On Dawn-To-Dusk Hunger Strike Over Arrest Of Sabarimala Protesters

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More than 3,500 people have been arrested so far for protests over Kerala's Sabarimala shrine

Thiruvananthapuram:

BJP workers began a dawn-to-dusk hunger strike today in front of the Kerala DGP's office in Thiruvananthapuram, intensifying its agitation against the CPI(M)-led LDF government's crackdown on Sabarimala protesters.

BJP cadres also took out marches to offices of the Superintendents of Police in all district headquarters to condemn the government for arresting the agitators.

Addressing party workers in Thiruvananthapuram, BJP state president PS Sreedharan Pillai alleged the ruling CPI(M) was on the road to "liquidation" and the party's graph was falling sharply.

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Former Union minister and the party's only MLA in the state assembly, O Rajagopal, was also present. Marxist leader MM Lawrence's grandson was among the protesters.

Over 3,500 people have been arrested so far and 529 cases registered in connection with the protests and demonstrations against the implementation of the Supreme court verdict allowing women of all age groups into the Lord Ayyappa temple.

BJP national president Amit Shah, who was in Kerala on October 27 had extended full support to the devotees protesting the entry of women of all ages into the shrine.

The BJP had announced that it would be taking out a 'Rath Yatra' from Kasaragod to Pathnamthitta, where the Sabarimala temple is located, from November 8 to 13 to "save the customs and traditions" of the hill shrine.

Around a dozen women in the 10-50 age group were prevented by protesting devotees from entering it after the temple doors were opened for monthly pujas between October 17 and 22.

The Lord Ayyappa temple's three month-long pilgrim season is commencing from November 17 and the state government has reiterated that all devotees would be allowed to offer prayers at the shrine.

The temple will also open for a day on November 5 for a special prayer ceremony.

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