Sabarimala protests: 266 held, 334 taken into preventive custody in 48 hours

Kerala continued to witness massive violence due to the hartal called by Hindu outfits after two women of menstruating age entered into the Sabarimala temple.

Sabarimala protests: 266 held, 334 taken into preventive custody in 48 hours
Congress workers hold a rally after women entered Sabarimala temple, in Kochi, Jan 02, 2019, The Sabarimala temple was shut down for ritual "purification" briefly after the two women entered the shrine. (PTI Photo)

Thiruvananthapuram: As many as 266 people have so far been arrested in connection with the violent protests staged by right-wing groups in the last two days after two women of menstruating age entered into the Sabarimala temple, police said Thursday.

A group of 334 people were taken under preventive custody, they added.

As the state continued to witness massive violence due to the hartal called by Hindu outfits, the police launched a special drive, 'Operation Broken Window' to take action against those indulging in violent protests, they said.

The special branch would prepare the list of those indulging in violence and hand it over to the district police chiefs for further action, the police said in a released.

A photo album of the perpetrators of violence would also be prepared, the release said, adding that special teams would be set up to arrest those agitators involved in violence.

Mobile phones of suspected persons would be confiscated and sent for digital examination and raids would be carried out at their homes, to unearth arms, if any, it said.

Cases would also be registered against those involved in alleged hate campaign on social media, it added.

The state is on a boil since Wednesday when two women-- Bindu and Kanakadurga in their 40s - trekked the Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala and offered prayers early Wednesday, taking everyone by surprise.

The dawn to dusk shutdown called by Sabarimala Karma Samithi, an umbrella organisation of various pro-Hindutva groups, and the Antarrashtriya Hindu Parishad Thursday led to violent protests, never seen in the state's recent history.