Even as more than 2,000 people have been arrested on the charge of rioting in Sabarimala, the police have accepted the mistake of being careless with the lookout notice circulated to thanas via WhatsApp.
Pathanamthitta: As many as 451 cases were registered and 2,061 people arrested in connection with the incidents of violent Kerala witnessed over the dispute of Sabarimala, following the Supreme Court verdict on women's entry into the shrine.
The police had issued a lookout notice on Wednesday. The phone numbers of Pathanamthitta police chief, deputy superintendent of police and Pampa circle inspector were displayed in the notice.
The visuals of the alleged attackers were obtained from CCTV cameras placed at Nilakkal, Pampa and Sannidhanam. The lookout notice contained photographs of 210 identified attackers and spread via mobile messaging application WhatsApp to all police stations across the state.
The police arrested 18 people immediately on receiving the lookout notice. The charges include violent clashes with the police and destruction of vehicles.
The arrests follow the instruction of chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan during his meeting with police officers in Thiruvananthapuram.
The attackers were arrested from their homes on Thursday and Friday. About 1,500 people of those who were arrested have got bail. However, those who are charged under Sections of the IPC that define non-bailable offences are likely to be sent on police remand after presenting them before the court.
Meanwhile, the Kerala police have accepted the mistake of including photographs of people in the lookout notice. It contained images of policemen in uniform, too. The inclusion of photographs of two cops in the notice was a faux pas, admitted the police.
One of the photos has been identified as that of Aashiq, a constable in the KAP 1 Battalion stationed at Sabarimala. The other is of Ibrahim, a police driver at the Pathanamthitta AR Camp. Worse, the notice containing these pictures claimed that Ibrahim was a member of the RSS.
Kerala Police were quick to remove the photo of Ibrahim. They clarified he was accidentally caught in the violence while returning from duty, as the mob attacked the vehicle he was driving.
The devotees involved in the agitation had earlier pointed fingers at the "unruly behaviour" of the cops during the Sabarimala protests.
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Last Updated Oct 26, 2018, 5:13 PM IST