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Amit Shah attacks Kerala CM over handling of Sabarimala issue

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New Delhi, Nov 20: BJP Chief Amit Shah attacked Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan over handling of Sabarimala protests and alleged ill-treatment meted to Ayyappa devotees.

BJP Chief Amit Shah. PTI file photo

In a series of tweets Amit Shah, said, " The way Pinarayi Vijayan's govt is handling the sensitive issue of Sabarimala is disappointing. Kerala police is treating young girls, mothers and aged inhumanly, forcing them to take the arduous pilgrimage, without even basic facilities like food, water, shelter & clean toilets."

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Also, Shah raised the issue of lack of facilities for devotees at the holy shrine. He said, "Several reports of flushing resting places for devotees and them having to spend nights next to pig droppings and dustbin are true, then Pinarayi Vijayan must realize that he can't treat Ayyappa devotees like inmates of Gulag. We won't let LDF crush people's faith with impunity."

He further said that the arrest of Thrissur ditrsict BJP leader K Surendran cannot suppress people movement. "If Pinarayi Vijayan thinks he can rise against people's movement to preserve Sabarimala by arresting K Surendran, our Thrissur District President and 6 others, then he is mistaken. We stand firmly with every Ayyappa devotee, who holds the Sabarimala tradition close to his heart," Shah said.

Union minister Alphons Kannanthanam, on a visit to Nilakkal, Pamba and Sannidhanam to take stock of the various facilities at the hill shrine, lashed out at the state goverment, saying the temple complex had been turned into a "war zone" and devotees were being treated as "dacoits".

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The Kerala High Court too expressed its displeasure over the manner in which the devotees were dealt with by the police at the "Sannidhanam", saying policemen should be in the barracks and not harass pilgrims. Given the tense situation, there was a dip in arrivals at the shrine which is visited by lakhs of pilgrims during the annual pilgrimage season.

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