Nilakkal: Eight BJP leaders, including state secretary VK Sajeevan, have been arrested from Nilakkal for trying to go to Pamba, defying police instructions.
The police personnel had asked the BJP leaders to give in writing that they would visit Sabarimala as pilgrims. However, the leaders refused to comply, prompting the police to take them into custody. The arrested were taken to Perinad police camp.
Sajeevan alleged that this was a challenge to the faithful.
Meanwhile, BJP general secretary K Surendran, who was arrested while on his way to Sabarimala recently, has been taken to Kannur from the Kottarakara sub-jail. He was taken to the northern district after a production warrant was issued against him for threatening officers during an earlier march towards the SP office. BJP workers got into a minor scuffle with the police officers outside the Kottarakara jail as Surendran was being escorted out
Around 60 pilgrims, who breached the security zone near Sabarimala's Vavarunada area and started chanting prayers despite prohibitory orders, were detained Saturday night.
Due to previous incidents of violence at the hill-top shrine, the police had imposed strict restrictions on the devotees at Sannidhanam. The protesters were staying back near Vavarunada and chanting prayers, even as there was an imposition of Section 144 that prohibits assembly of more than four people at a spot. They were later let off on bail. Hundreds of protesters have been arrested in this first week of the annual two-month 'Mandala-Makaravilakku' season of Sabarimala, which commenced on November 17.
The shrine has been witnessing frenzied protest over the LDF government's decision to implement the Supreme Court verdict allowing women of all age groups to enter Sabarimala.