The Kerala Police on Wednesday launched major search operations for 210 people it suspects of being involved in violence at Sabarimala, Pamba and Nilakkal towns last week during protests against the Supreme Court verdict allowing women of all ages to enter the Sabarimala shrine.
Authorities in Pathanamthitta district have used video footage of last week’s demonstrations to obtain mugshots of all suspects, and prepared an album titled “List of suspects to be identified in various cases relating to the entry of women at Sabarimala”, NDTV reported. The album was sent to the police chiefs of all districts in the state.
Protestors prevented the entry of women of menstruating age into the shrine after monthly rituals began there on October 17. The shrine closed on October 22 after the rituals were completed, but not a single woman between the ages of 10 and 50 was able to enter it because of the protests.
The Supreme Court has listed review petitions against its verdict for hearing on November 13. However, the Travancore Dewaswom Board, which administers the shrine, said on Wednesday that it will not file a review plea, or even a report in the top court on the matter. The board said such a petition “has no relevance” any more and that it will file one only if the court asks for it.
Kerala Director General of Police Loknath Behera held a meeting with senior officers on Wednesday to discuss security measures at the shrine for the Mandala-Makaravillaku season beginning November 17. On Tuesday, a police officer told the Kerala High Court that “frenzied protests” are likely during the annual pilgrim season, and warned that the demonstrations could lead to casualties.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has expressed his opposition to filing a review petition, and said that the top court’s order must be implemented. The Opposition Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party have criticised the government for its “undue haste” in implementing the judgement.