Senior Kerala cop suspended for filing case against women devoteesMarch 12th, 2012 - 8:37 pm ICT by IANS
Thiruvananthapuram, March 12 (IANS) A senior Kerala police officer was suspended Monday for filing a case against more than 11,000 women for squatting on the road and cooking as part of the ‘Attukal Pongala’ temple festival last week.
The official, Thiruvananthapuram Deputy Commissioner of Police V.C. Mohanan, was suspended for going ahead in registering the case.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy announced the suspension of the police officer.
As news of the police officer’s registering a case against women devotees was broadcast on TV channels Monday afternoon, Chandy asked the Director General of police Jacob Punnoose to submit a report after making preliminary inquiries.
The Attukal Pongala temple festival is attended by lakhs of women devotees. As per the traditions of the famed temple situated in the heart of the city, women devotees sit on the roads leading to the temple and cook an offering of rice, jaggery and coconut.
The Kerala High Court had passed a law against holding public meetings on the roads. However, Chandy on March 5 said that this temple festival should be excluded.
The Kerala Police had submitted an affidavit in the high court early this month saying that the temple festival could go ahead.
Speaking to reporters at Kottayam, Chandy said the DGP had submitted a preliminary report asking for action to be taken against Mohanan and hence he was suspended.
“The cases that were registered by this police officer against the women devotees stand withdrawn with immediate effect,” added Chandy.
Mohanan had filed cases against the women who were sitting on the roads in front of two police stations in the area.
Attukal Pongala is celebrated annually at the renowned Attukal Devi temple and is the largest gathering of women in the world irrespective of caste, creed or religion.
According to organisers, this year more than 3.5 million women took part in the festival.
The event happens on the penultimate day of the 10-day-long Attukal Pongala festival, which is often referred to as the women’s equivalent of the Sabarimala pilgrimage.
The offering is prepared using rice, jaggery and coconut, that gets cooked in three to four hours time.
According to the legend, Kannaki (Parvathi) destroyed Madurai in Tamil Nadu after the king wrongfully imposed the death penalty on her husband.
Kannaki then travelled to Kerala, where she rested at Attukal, and women here are said to have cooked pongala to appease her.
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Tags: attukal devi, attukal pongala, caste, chief minister, city women, commissioner of police, deputy commissioner, devotees, dgp, heart of the city, jaggery, kerala high court, kerala police, lakhs, oommen chandy, police stations, preliminary report, public meetings, temple festival, women in the world