45 Ayyappa devotees arrested

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Sabarimala
Udhagamandalam (TN), Dec 11: Forty-five Sabarimala pilgrims were arrested here when they attempted to stage a demonstration seeking action against a teacher who scolded two students for wearing black clothes and allegedly used derogatory words against Lord Ayyappa, police said.

Police said parents of two students and some Hindu Munnani activists lodged complaints with the Ooty Town Police station against the woman teacher in a Government school for allegedly asking two eighth standard students to remove their black coloured clothing some 10 days ago.

As police failed to take any action against the teacher, the devotees, along with the students' parents sought permission to stage demonstration, which was denied. Defying the ban, devotees came out into the streets and attempted to stage a demonstration but they were arrested.

The devotees and Hindu Munnani activists alleged that the teacher forced the students to attend classes on Sundays to give lectures on the Bible and indulged in conversion, police added. Sabarimala pilgrims usually wear black or brown dhotis as part of their vratham (41-day penance).

PTI

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