Sabarimala protests to continue until Sec 144 is lifted: UDF

Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 27: The Congress-led UDF on Tuesday announced that it will continue the protests till the Kerala Police withdrew the prohibitory orders enforced in Sabarimala.The decision was conveyed by the United Democratic Front (UDF) Convenor Benny Behanan to the media here, soon after the Liaison Committee of the leadership met here."We have decided that our protests will continue till the prohibitory orders in the temple town in Sabarimala are lifted. Our protests will be seen both inside and outside the Assembly," said Behanan.The business session of the state assembly begins on Wednesday.The Kerala Police on Monday extended Section 144 of the CrPC that prohibits assembly of more than four persons in one place, till November 30.Sabarimala town has been witnessing repeated protests ever since the September 28 verdict of the Supreme Court that allowed women of all ages to enter the temple that hitherto banned girls and women aged 10-50.The apex court had on November 13 refused to stay its earlier order, three days before the temple opened for a two-month long season.The Left Democratic Front (LDF) government-led by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) has been trying to implement the top court's order even as the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party and several Hindu groups have been up in arms against it.Behanan added that there was "an unholy alliance between the Pinarayi Vijayan government and the BJP/RSS forces"."Vijayan and the Sangh Parivar forces are hand-in-glove and the former has given the chance to the latter to get glorified through their protests and arrests of their leaders."This is a ploy by the two forces. We have had a consistent stand on the Sabarimala issue. We will not withdraw our protest till the prohibitory order is withdrawn," Behanan added.In a related development Rehana Fathima, who had attempted to visit the Lord Ayyappa temple, escorted by the police on October 19, was arrested on Tuesday.Fathima had faced massive protests from devotees and had to return midway.She was arrested after a Bharatiya Janata Party leader had complained to the police that she had made inflammatory comments on her Facebook page.

PTI

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