The raging controversy surrounding Sabarimala continued to reverberate in the State capital on Sunday with Sangh Parivar activists maintaining its aggressive stance against the State government.
The venue of the city Corporation’s development seminar at the St. Mary’s Higher Secondary School witnessed tense moments when Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) councillors and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) workers staged a sudden protest as Dewaswom Minister Kadakmpally Surendran reached the place.
As soon as they stood up raising slogans and holding up placards against the government’s stand on the Sabarimala issue, CPI(M) workers who had gathered for the programme surrounded them, leading to a scuffle.
M.R. Gopan, Parliamentary party leader of BJP at the council, who tried to take control of the mic, was pushed away.
Soon, the police intervened and removed the protesters.
Both the Minister and Mayor V.K. Prasanth condemned the protest at the venue of the development seminar.
Mr. Surendran said the BJP should not have used venue meant for important discussions on the city’s developmental initiatives for its political protests.
BJP activists laid siege at five places along the National Highway in the district in protest against the arrest of its State general secretary K. Surendran at Nilackal a day ago. While the demonstration passed off peacefully in most places, the activists were involved in a minor clash with police officials in Neyyattinkara.
The issue cropped up when the protesters demanded that the police refrained from video-graphing the demonstration.
However, senior police officials maintained that the practice was in accordance with the protocol being followed by the Kerala Police and could not be done away with. The argument gave way to slight tension, but the issue was soon resolved.
BJP spokesperson M.S. Kumar inaugurated the road blockade that was held at Overbridge in the city.
He accused the Pinarayi Vijayan-led government of disrespecting the sentiments of devotees.
Mahila Morcha State president V.T. Rama alleged that the government were bent on foisting false cases against devotees with an ulterior motive of disrupting communal harmony.
The demonstrations at Kattakkada, Attingal, Venjaramoodu and Neyyattinkara were inaugurated by BJP State vice president P.P. Vava, OBC Morcha State president Punchakkari Surendran, BJP district vice president Malayinkeezhu Radhakrishnan, and State secretary C. Sivankutty respectively.