Sabarimala: RSS leader wanted in police station attack arrested

Praveen held in connection with the country bomb attack on Nedumangad police station in January

Updated - November 28, 2021 09:39 am IST

Published - February 03, 2019 02:01 pm IST - Thiruvananthapuram

File photo of violence that erupted in Kerala following the Sabarimala controversy

File photo of violence that erupted in Kerala following the Sabarimala controversy

A plainclothes squad early on Sunday arrested Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) district leader Praveen in connection with the country bomb attack on Nedumangad police station during the peak of the Sangh Parivar-sponsored agitation against the entry of women of reproductive age to Sabarimala shrine in early January.  

A team led by DySP, Nedumangadu, D. Asokan, had been on a stake-out at the Central Railway Station, Thampanoor, since Saturday after they received information that the accused would try to board a train to North Kerala. Undercover officers arrested Praveen when he entered the station and hustled him away in a police van to the Nedumangad station.  

The police had incriminated the RSS pracharak in the case after surveillance footage of him hurling four country bombs in close succession at the station house surfaced in the media.


The incident happened on January 2 when Kerala experienced violence after two women, Bindu Ammini and Kanaka Durga, worshipped at the Sabarimala temple, upending a lengthy ban on women between the age of 10 and 50 from entering the sanctum.  

On September 28, 2018, the Supreme Court lifted that ban on entering the Lord Ayyappa temple. The verdict then led to a stand-off between the Government and Hindu right-wing outfits determined to stop the State from upholding the judgement.  

The country bomb attack on the police station was the highlight of the Sabarimala Karma Samathi (SKS) initiated hartal that resulted in destruction of public property and attacks on law enforcers, journalists, party houses of political functionaries across Kerala.  

The violence had resulted in the registration of 1,369 cases and the arrest and incarceration of over 900 persons, an overwhelming number of them SKS, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and RSS workers on charges of damaging public property, attacks on officers, arson, unlawful assembly and rioting.  

Officers said Praveen, a resident of Nooranad, was politically active in Nedumangad for several years. He was accused in many cases of causing hurt, including a charge of attempted murder. The court had earlier rejected his plea for anticipatory bail. 

The police had raided the houses of his relatives in Kollam, triggering accusations of harassment and at least one petition in the High Court. They had issued a wanted person notice against Praveen and arrested at least five persons, including his brother, on the charge of having harboured a fugitive from the law.  

The police said they would produce Praveen before a magistrate and seek his return to police custody for further questioning.

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