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11 May 2021, Edition - 2128, Tuesday

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India News

Kerala BJP leader out on bail after 23 days in custody over Sabarimala protest

Covai Post Network

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The BJP in Kerala, which shot into limelight suddenly through protests at Sabarimala, has reasons to rejoice when party state secretary K Surendran was released on bail on Saturday after being in custody for 23 days.

He was arrested for defying prohibitory orders in Sabarimala after which a number of cases were made against him.

His arrest and subsequent cases had put the party,

riddled by factionalism, into a tough situation with a section accusing the party state leadership of failing to get him released.

On Friday, the High Court granted him bail in the case relating to attempts to block a 52-year-old woman pilgrim at Sabarimala. However, the bail came with tough conditions and he was asked to eschew unconstitutional practices.

There have been rumours in BJP circles of his taking over as state president of the party in the wake of Sreedharan Pillai, who was made the chief recently, failing to handle the Sabarimala issue in a manner advantageous to the party.

Surendran, who was given a warm welcome on his coming out of the Poojapura prison in Thiruvanthapuram on Saturday, denied rumours of his taking over the party reins from Pillai. He said his only concern was that there should be no violation of rituals related to Sabarimala. He said he would continue to take part in peaceful protests against entry of young women to the shrine.

He added that he would move the court to get the bail conditions relaxed.

Surendran reiterated the allegation that the police had made attempts twice to desecrate his ‘irumudikettu’ (pouch of puja materials and offerings) when he proposed to undertake the pilgrimage but was arrested. But visuals had shown him dropping the pouch twice and police picking it for him and ensuring there was no desecration.

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