BJP leader K Surendran, 71 others granted bail

BJP leader K Surendran, 71 others granted bail

Sabarimala: Devotees queue up to offer prayers at Lord Ayyappa temple during the Malayalam month of 'Vrischikom,' in Sabarimala, Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018. (PTI Photo) (PTI11_20_2018_000223B)

A court on Wednesday granted conditional bail to 72 people, including BJP general secretary K Surendran, who were arrested in connection with the Sabarimala temple row.

Surendran along with two others had been arrested on November 18 from Nilackal as he tried to proceed to the Lord Ayyappa Temple despite being advised by police personnel against visiting Sabarimala due to law and order issues.

The 69 others were arrested after they held a "nama japam" (chanting Lord Ayyappa mantras) inside the shrine complex late on Sunday, defying prohibitory orders.

When their case up before the Munsif court here, all the 73 people were granted bail with strict conditions.

The accused have been asked not to enter Ranni taluk, where the Lord Ayyappa temple is located, for two months and they have been directed to submit two personal sureties of Rs 20,000 each.

The court also rejected the plea of the accused to permit them to visit the hill shrine during the two-month-long "mandala makaravillaku" pilgrim season.

Since a non-bailable warrant is pending against him before the Kannur magistrate court, Surendran will have to seek bail, in that case, to come of jail.

Restrictions have been imposed at the Lord Ayyappa temple following protests by devotees and activists of the BJP and the RSS over the state government's decision to implement the September 28 Supreme Court order.

The hill shrine was opened on November 16 evening for the over two-month-long pilgrimage season amid tension. 

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