HC warns Pinarayi govt over crackdown on Sabarimala devotees

In a major snub to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Kerala High Court ordered the state government to desist from “playing to the gallery” while undertaking a crackdown on the Ayyappa devotees during Sabarimala protests. Hearing a petition on the police atrocities, the high court warned the state government that it would have to pay a heavy price if it arrests innocent people. The court also directed the government that the arrests should be made only after thorough investigation.

The court directed the government to handle the Sabarimala issue with care. The court also sought a detailed report on the police action in Sabarimala by Monday.

Meanwhile, the number of arrests so far has crossed 2000. Observers say the CPI(M) is playing a calculated political game of polarization.

The CPI(M) sees it as an ideological issue. With Hindus coming closer to the BJP, the CPI(M) hopes to move towards new demography to stay relevant in politics. “The party is confident that the ideological battle on this issue will provide new opportunities for the Party and the Left to reach newer sections. The present challenges will provide new opportunities for the Left to advance,” senior CPI(M) leader S Ramachandran Pillai wrote the CPM mouthpiece Peoples’ Democracy.

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