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Kerala MLA being held 'captive' by devotees
April 22, 2004 18:42 IST
Devotees of the Puthenkavu Bhagavathy temple at Elavoor near Kochi in Kerala, where the controversial Thookam ritual has been banned, on Thursday held local MLA M A Chandrasekharan 'captive' when he paid a visit early in the morning even as a tense situation prevailed in the area.
On hearing about the ban, Chandrasekharan visited the temple at 7am where devotees opposed to the ban confined him to a room.
They said the MLA would not be allowed to leave unless police released 13 persons taken into custody early on Thursday along with some seized materials, including the Thookkachadu from which a devotee is hung from a height of 32 feet by piercing iron hooks on his back.
One Ramakrishnan Nair, who was to have participated in the ritual, is also in custody.
The MLA was allowed to come out of the room at 1pm, but not to leave the temple compound.
He then informed Chief Minister A K Antony and District Collector Gynanesh Kumar about the situation. However, district Superintendent of Police B Shamsuddin told PTI that the MLA had not sought police assistance.
Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena has called for a strike in Ernakulam district in protest against the ban.
More reports from Kerala