Fate of crooks who dreamt of defaming Sabarimala

published on November 11, 2010

Sabarimala case: Actress Jaimala to be third accused
VR Jayaraj | Kochi

The Crime Branch of the Kerala Police will soon file the chargesheet in the sensational case pertaining to the controversy over Kannada film actress Jaimala’s claim that she had touched the idol of Lord Ayyappa in the sanctum sanctorum of the shrine at Kerala’s famed Hindu pilgrim centre Sabarimala in the prime of her youth.

The chargesheet will name Jaimala as the third accused in the case while astrologer Unnikrishna Panicker of Parappanangadi and his associate Raghupati will be the first and second accused respectively. The chargesheet is likely to be filed in the First Class Magistrate Court, Ranni, Pathanamthitta, within a few days.

All the three will be booked under Section 295 A of IPC for outraging religious sentiments. However, the actress has said that she would consult her legal advisor once she receives official information from the Kerala Police. “I will consult my legal advisor and take appropriate action to protect my interest and uphold my innocence,” a Bangalore report quoted the actress as saying.

In a letter faxed to the office of the temple administration in June, 2006, Jaimala claimed that she had visited the Sabarimala shrine in 1987 when she was 27 years old. She also said she had touched the idol of Lord Ayyappa when she was thrown off the queue into the sanctum sanctorum due to rush of devotees. Entry of women between ten and fifty years of age is banned in the Sabarimala shrine.

Her claim came in wake of an astrological examination (Devaprasnam) by Panicker at the temple in which he “found” that sacrilegious things had been taking place in the shrine. The examination even “showed” desecration of the deity’s idol by a young woman’s touch. This and Jaimala’s claim sparked off a huge controversy across Kerala.

The Kerala Government ordered a probe into whole episode by the Crime Branch. After a detailed probe and interrogation of Jaimala, the police concluded that her claim of having been pushed into the sanctum sanctorum by the onrush of devotees appeared illogical and implausible. According to the police, it was part of a conspiracy to give authenticity to the astrologer’s “discovery”.

The probe concluded that Jaimala and Panicker had sparked off the controversy deliberately and that the fax was sent to give credibility to the “discovery” he made during the astrological examination. During the follow-up procedures, the Crime Branch arrested then Devaswom Executive Commissioner VS Rajagopalan Nair.

Panicker and his aide Raghupati avoided arrest by earning anticipatory bail. However, the police have now exempted the name of Rajagopalan Nair from the chargesheet convinced that there are no sufficient evidences to implicate him in the case. The Crime Branch’s investigation was completed under the leadership of KK Chellappan, Superintendent of Police.

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