Thiruvananthapuram: Former Director General of Police, A Hemachandran’s autobiographical book ‘Nithi Evide’ (Where is Justice?) is bringing out the key revelations and behind-the-scenes role of communist government’s attempt to destroy the age-old traditions at Sabarimala temple. A Hemachandran was part of the high-level monitoring committee appointed by the High Court during the Sabarimala struggle in 2018.
In his book, the former DGP said that the government submitted a report in the High Court picturing devotees of Lord Ayyappa as religious fundamentalists. He also accused the government for supporting the move to break the age-old traditions at Sabarimala.
The government also gave support and VIP treatment to women who wanted to break the traditions of the temple, said the retired police officer.
In his autobiography, A Hemachandran says that the police beat up the devotees brutally at Nilackal while making way for women till Pamba. The police made arrangements for these women to reach Pamba. The women team, Manithi Sangam, from Tamil Nadu was also provided special treatment. This group of women also tried to enter the holy shrine in violation to the customs existing there.
The book says that unnecessary restrictions during the Sabarimala struggle had offended and saddened the devotees. Even many police officers were also uncomfortable with the incidents happening at Sabarimala at that time.
The autobiography also says that the government tried to break the traditions and customs of Sabarimala for personal interests.
The book adds that the all-women, Manithi Sangam, was given police support to go to Sabarimala temple. This police help made the situation at Sabarimala worse. The police protection given to Manithi Sangam created difficulties for the devotees who came to the shrine to pray to Lord Ayyappa.
A Hemachandran said that he was against the police decision to give special protection to the Manithi Sangam. He had informed his dissatisfaction to the then DGP Loknath Behra.
In his book, Hemachandran says that he was of the view that no special protection must be provided to Manithi Sangam other than the usual police protection. However, the reply was that if special protection is not given it would be contempt of court.
The police had made huge arrangements for providing protection to Manithi Sangam from devotees who wanted to block the entry of the women from Manithi Sangam. It included readying as if to face guerilla fighters.
This infuriated the devotees more. When the situation turned worse at Sabarimala, the monitoring committee of the High Court, intervened. A Hemachandran was also part of the monitoring committee.
A Hemachandran recalls in his book that he had also informed directly to the Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan, about his dissatisfaction on the policy adopted by the police force at Sabarimala.
However, the police submitted a report to the CM that was against Hemachandran’s views. And thus, Pinarayi Vijayan did not accept his arguments.
A Hemachadran says that there was a huge failure by the police force in the Sabarimala issue. Devotees were termed as religious fundamentalists in a report submitted to the High Court, reveals the book.