- A video of the minister and the cop arguing is being circulated widely
- The IPS officer said Pon Radhakrishnan can pass as he is a VIP
- The minister and his party leaders ultimately availed public transport
The BJP in Kerala demanded action against police officer Yathish Chandra who entered into an argument with Union minister Pon Radhakrishnan on Wednesday over pilgrims not being allowed to take private vehicles to Sabarimala.
A video of the minister and the police officer arguing with each other is widely circulated in the social media.
Mr Radhakrishnan on his way to the shrine asked the police officer at Nilakkal base camp why private vehicles were not allowed till Pamba, final base camp when there was no such restriction imposed on buses run by the state road transport corporation.
Mr Chandra replied buses were not parked at Pamba. "..If we allow private vehicles to go and park there (at Pamba), traffic jams will be there. Are you willing to take responsibility for this?" the police officer was heard asking the minister.
The minister retorted that he can give no such assurance. To this the police officer said "sir, no one is willing to take responsibility; that is the problem." "Sir, if you give an order, we will allow private vehicles till Pamba,' Mr Chandra insisted.
At this point, Kerala BJP leader AN Radhakrishnan who was accompanying the minister lost his cool. He blamed the police officer for "insulting the minister" to hide the shortcomings on the part of the Kerala police and demanded strong action against the 2010 batch IPS officer.
To a specific question by the Minister that: "It seems you will not allow my vehicle, the police officer explains "You are a VIP Sir, you are a sitting Minister but others have to take the bus."
The minister and his party leaders ultimately decided to take the public transport.
"You (police) are unnecessarily harassing devotees. This is not good for Sabarimala pilgrims. Private vehicles should also be allowed," the minister was heard saying.
"I came as a devotee. I am a regular here and I am really upset about the restrictions." the minister said.
At night the minister joined the protests on the temple premises despite prohibitory orders and and raised "Swamiye Sharanam Ayyappa" chants.
The state government imposed Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code - a measure that prohibits the assembly of four or more people in an area - after violent took place protests against a September 28 Supreme Court order allowing women of menstruating age to enter the hill shrine.
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