Ayyappa Swami Devotees going to Sabari Malai are facing problems with the locals in Kerala. They are being put to hardships and attacked by them.
The devotees narrated their hardships dealing with the locals at Shoranur railway junction where locals attacked them and four devotees belong to the State were arrested by the police. The others of the group somehow managed to escape from it to reach Tirupati. Ayyappa Swamy devotees after visiting Sabari Malai visit Tirupati in their return journey to get the grace of Venkanna as a tradition coming from many years. But these ones simply returned from Shoranur by catching other trains.
Problem erupted when the reserved seats of the Andhra pilgrims were occupied by the local passengers and refused to give them back. The Ayyappa devotees say that the Andhra devotees were attacked by the locals with stones and police with lathis. The police encouraged the locals attacking the Andhra devotees.
The incident at Shoranur as the devotees say is not a new incident. They say that it has been going on for some time with the locals including ladies who occupy the seats forcibly and police never come to the rescue of the pilgrims. This time even police joined the locals to harass the Ayyappa pilgrims. The devotees say that the ordeal went on for three hours.