Kochi: The state government has informed the High Court on Friday that those arrested from Sabarimala had several criminal cases registered against them. In a detailed affidavit submitted before the division bench the DGP listed the number of criminal cases pending against the 69 persons arrested from Sannidhanam on the night of Nov-ember 18 for indulging in Namajapam protest. Only criminals engaged in violence were arrested and not a single devotee faced any difficulty due to the police action, the affidavit claimed.
One of the persons arrested on November 18 is having 86 criminal cases pending against him, the affidavit said. “The ninth accused is involved in five other criminal cases. Three of the accused in three other criminal cases whereas five others are accused in two other criminal cases”, the affidavit said. “Almost all the other accused persons are involved in at least in another criminal case”, the affidavit said. The affidavit also said that not a single devotee has faced any problem or difficulties in Sabarimala from the police. The affidavit has detailed the BJP and RSS affiliation of the arrested persons.
The affidavit has denied the allegation that the Nadapandal was inundated to prevent the devotees from staying in the place. It was a regular practice to clean the Nadapandal every day in the past and the visuals of the same was also given as supporting evidence in the matter. The restrictions were imposed on staying in the Nadapandal to prevent the place from being utilised as the venue for protest by vested interests.
Protest and violence in Sabarimala is against the Supreme Court verdict, said the affidavit submitted by the government. On making Nilakkal as the base camp the affidavit mentioned about damages caused in Pamba following the floods. The damage to the basic infrastructure in Pamba compelled the authorities to make Nilakkal as the base camp and the decision has nothing to do with the Supreme Court verdict.