KOCHI: In a move to quell the criticism that its Sabarimala agitation was losing steam, an eight- member BJP delegation led by national general secretary Saroj Pandey MP met Governor P Sathasivam in Kochi on Sunday and submitted a petition demanding the lifting of prohibitory order (Sec 144) in and around the hill shrine.
The delegation, which also included MPs Pralhad Joshi, Vinod Sonkar, Nalin Kumar Kateel and V Muraleedharan, told the Governor that imposing Sec 144 in Sabarimala, where pilgrims usually arrive in groups, was not justified. They demanded that buses be allowed to ply up to Pampa.
The delegation alleged the police were harassing the pilgrims in the name of prohibitory order. They asked to provide pilgrims more water and also set up more facilities like toilets and rest rooms at Nilakkal, Pampa and on the way to Sannidhanam.
The BJP delegation alleged a number of false cases has been slapped on the party’s state general secretary K Surendran. Sathasivam was in Kochi to attend the Operational Demonstration of the Naval Command as part of the Navy Day.
A press communique from the Governor’s office said he “patiently heard them (the delegation members) and assured them their grievances would be urgently brought to the attention of the Chief Minister and Minister for Devaswom for necessary action”.
Three BJP state leaders — president P S Sreedharan Pillai, general secretary A N Radhakrishnan and leader Sobha Surendran — were also part of the delegation.
Observers’ panel to visit Sabarimala
Kochi: The three-member panel of observers appointed by the Kerala High Court to ensure a smooth Sabarimala pilgrimage will conduct a two-day visit to the hill shrine from Monday. Meanwhile, the state government has decided to move the Supreme Court against the order.
At a glance
Tension prevails at Nilakkal on Sunday after eight BJP activists led by state spokesman B Gopalakrishnan violated the prohibitory order. Police arrest them and later release on bail
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