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HomeNews ReportsKerala HC pulls up CPM leader for manhandling Lord Ayyappa devotees at Sabarimala temple

Kerala HC pulls up CPM leader for manhandling Lord Ayyappa devotees at Sabarimala temple

A video of guard Arun Kumar, who is connected to CPM's Travancore Devasom Board, the body which manages the daily operations of the hilltop shrine, had gone viral on social media and was brought to the attention of the high court's Devasom bench by several lawyers.

On Monday, the Kerala High Court strongly condemned the actions of Arun Kumar, a Sabarimala temple guard and CPM leader, who was caught on video pushing and shoving devotees while they were praying on Saturday, the busiest day of the two-month pilgrimage season.

A video of guard Arun Kumar, who is connected to CPM’s Travancore Devasom Board, the body which manages the daily operations of the hilltop shrine, had gone viral on social media and was brought to the attention of the high court’s Devasom bench by several lawyers.

The court expressed its disapproval and inquired about the identity and authority of the person who had touched the bodies of the pilgrims.

A bench of Justices Anil K Narendran and P G Ajithkumar asked the Board to provide details of the Devaswom guard concerned and the action if any, taken against him.

“The manner in which the Devaswom guard by name, ‘Arun’, regulated the movement of pilgrims in front of Sreekovil, through the first row, was in flagrant violation of the directions issued by this court in the decision in Sajeev Sastharam,” the bench said.

During the court proceedings, the bench stated that in a previous petition (Sajeev Sastharam vs. the State of Kerala), they had instructed the guards working for the TDB and the police officers on duty at Sopanam to manage the movement of devotees through barricades in a manner that causes the least inconvenience to pilgrims.

The state government counsel argued that the actions were part of crowd control measures, but the court emphasized that there are appropriate, scientific methods of controlling crowds and that it is the responsibility of the police to implement them.

The bench mentioned, however, on January 14, after the deity was adorned with the ‘Thiruvabharanam’, there were issues with the crowd management in front of the Sreekovil at Sannidhanam.

The court requested that the top official of the TDB and Arun Kumar be added as parties in the case and scheduled the next hearing for Tuesday.

Notably, Arun Kumar, who is now known to be a trade union leader of the CPI-M and is affiliated with the TDB, is also a close associate of the State Education Minister, V. Sivankutty.

The TDB suspended Arun Kumar for his act.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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