72 pilgrims arrested in Sabarimala last week get bail

Pathanamthitta (Kerala): Seventy two pilgrims, who were arrested last week near the Sabarimala temple for defying prohibitory orders, got bail here on Wednesday.

While 69 of them were arrested on Sunday night from the temple premises, State BJP General Secretary K. Surendran and two others were arrested on Saturday night.

The Pathanamthitta Munsif court granted bail to the accused upon their furnishing two securities each, and ordered them not to enter the Ranni taluk. This means that none of them will be able to return to Sabarimala.

The Sabarimala temple doors opened on November 16 for a two-month pilgrimage season.

The temple town has witnessed protests by Hindu groups since September 28 when the Supreme Court allowed women of all ages to enter the temple that had hitherto banned girls and women aged between 10 and 50.

The apex court on November 13 refused to stay that verdict.

While the Kerala government is trying hard to see that the apex court verdict is implemented, the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, the Congress and several Hindu groups are up in arms against violation of the temple tradition.