It is alleged that chanting swamiye saranam Ayyappa mantra, Venugopalan Nair set himself ablaze after pouring petrol over his body and tried to run to the makeshift tent where the senior BJP leader CK Padmanabhan has been staging an indefinite hunger strike
Thiruvananthapuram: Stray incidents of violence were reported during the state-wide hartal in Kerala. The BJP called for a state-wide dawn-to-dusk hartal on Friday over an Ayyappa devotee's death. All schools, colleges and shops were shut.
The middle-aged man, identified as Venugopalan Nair, a native of Muttada, Thiruvananthapuram district, poured petrol on his body and tried to set himself on fire at 2 AM on Thursday. He breathed his last at around 3:45 PM.
It is alleged that chanting swamiye saranam Ayyappa mantra, Nair set himself ablaze after pouring petrol over his body and tried to run to the makeshift tent where senior the BJP leader CK Padmanabhan has been staging an indefinite hunger strike.
During the hartal on Friday, glass panes of three Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses were totally damaged in stone pelting. Stones were pelted at a bus stationed in Palakkad depot and two buses in Perinthalmanna. Initial reports said nine persons who reached in three bikes were behind the incident.
Meanwhile, Devaswom minister Kadakampallu Surendran said that the people of the state have rejected the dawn-to-dusk hartal called by the BJP. He also stated that no one knows whether Nair, who died after immolating himself, owes allegiance to any political party.
Regarding this issue, BJP leader MT Ramesh said that the Ayyappa devotee took the extreme step in protest against the state government's attitude towards the Sabarimala issue. He also pointed out that the devotee was annoyed by the government’s "irresponsible approach towards the BJP". The government has not been able to provide the necessary security for the BJP leaders and the suicide attempt is testimony to this, he said.
Earlier, after activist Trupti Desai announced that she would visit Sabarimala temple, the Shiv Sena said that they would stage a mass suicide against her visit. The Sabarimala temple has been carrying decades-old ritual of closing its doors to women, as believed to be followed by Lord Ayyappa himself, while he was practising celibacy and abstaining from all worldly pleasures and distractions.
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Last Updated Dec 14, 2018, 1:57 PM IST