29-year old man held for assaulting woman pilgrim at Sabarimala

Vastavam web: A29-year old man was Wednesday arrested in connection with the incident relating to the alleged assault of a woman pilgrim at the Lord Ayyappa Temple in Sabarimala, suspecting her to be of menstrual age. Sooraj, hailing from Elanthur in Pathanamthitta district, was one of the main accused in the incident which took place Tuesday when the hill shrine was opened for the two-day-long “Chithira Atta Thirunal,” a special ritual.

Hundreds of frenzied devotees had tried to attack and preventthe 52-year old woman, Lalitha Ravi,from offering prayers at the temple. Investigation is on to nab the remaining accused, Pathanamthitta SP, T Narayanan, told. The man was arrested on the basis of digital evidence and photographs, he said. Police had registered cases against 200 “identifiable” persons for trying to prevent Lalitha, who had come for the ‘choorunu’ (rice-giving) ceremony of her grandchild, from praying at the temple. The woman showed her Aadhaar card to them to prove that she did not belong to the “traditionally barred” age group of 10-50 years. Police later escorted her to the shrine to offer prayers along with other women relatives.