The Kerala Police has started arresting and torturing tribals in Pathanamthitta and Chittar areas. They are being targeted because they oppose entry of young women in Sabarimala and participated in peaceful prayer protests. People have no clue about the whereabouts of those arrested.
These tribal communities have strong association with Sabarimala temple and vehemently oppose the violation of age-old traditions. These poor tribals had certain rights over the temple but the Travancore Devaswom Board during Communist rule had done away with their rights.
People say they can’t go to work or send their children to school. The police threaten them. According to a report, women fear police harassment.
Despite Kerala High Court warning, the police continue to undertake massive arrests across the state. The total number of arrests has crossed 3,000 (3,500 according to some media reports) in Kerala. Innocent women, senior citizens and children who had gone for namajapa yatra (prayer march) were arrested and stringent sections were imposed.