File criminal cases against Devaswom Minister, TDB Prez : BJP

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Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 5 (UNI) Alleging that human rights violation was taking place at Sabarimala, the BJP in Kerala today demanded that criminal cases be initiated against Devaswom Minister G Sudhakaran and Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) president C K Guptan for ''harassing'' pilgrims at the Hill Shrine during the ''Mandalavilakku'' season.

Talking to newspersons here, BJP State president P K Krishnadas said both the government and the TDB, which governs the Hill Shrine, harassed lakhs of Ayyappa devotees during the season by not providing facilities, including drinking water and toilet facilities and added that the pilgrims were now drinking contaminated water.

On the Minister's statement that the government had an Intelligence report the BJP was trying to 'scuttle' activities during the Makaravilakku festival, he said Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan and Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan should clarify whether they had any such report.

He alleged, the Devaswom Minister was trying to ''cover up his failure'' in providing facilities by putting such allegations against the BJP and added that it was suspected that it was because of CPI(M)'s ''hidden agenda'' that the pilgrims were denied of facilities.

Stating that Sudhakaran had no right to continue in the Ministry, the BJP leader asked him to quit the office and dissolve the TDB.

UNI CGV SP PM2315

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