New Delhi: BJP president Amit Shah slammed Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan over his stand on the Sabarimala issue. In a series of his Tweets, Shah said that the state government is treating Ayyappa devotees like Gulag prisoners.

"If 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 realise that he can’t treat Ayyappa devotees like inmates of Gulag. We won't let LDF crush people's faith with impunity," he said.

"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 to media. 

"Even BJP chief reacted about the terrible condition of Sabarimala. Still, Pinarayi Vijayan is mum. He had time to appoint thousands of police officials at Sabarimala, but did he not find time to ensure basic facilities in Sabarimala?" questioned Akhilesh Nair, an Ayyappa devotee.

Earlier, the Kerala high court too had mocked the Pinarayi Vijayan government over police excesses in Sabarimala temple, saying policemen should be in the barracks and not attack pilgrims.

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Union minister KJ Alphons visited the temple top on Monday. “Why do you need 15,000 policemen in Sabarimala? Devotees are not extremists. It is not a democracy. The government considers devotees as sworn enemies and has given a free hand to control helpless pilgrims,” said Alphons.