Was duty bound to help, says Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan on 2 women entering Sabarimala
The entry of Bindu Ammini and Kanakadurga into the temple under police protection early on Wednesday sparked violence across the state as protesters blocked roads at many places and clashed with police.Updated: Jan 03, 2019 18:42 IST
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan defended helping the two women in gaining entry to the Sabarimala temple as he accused the Sangh Parivar of trying to incite trouble in the state.
The entry of Bindu Ammini and Kanakadurga into the temple under police protection early on Wednesday sparked violence across the state as protesters blocked roads at many places and clashed with police. (Live updates)
No women between the age of 10 and 50 could enter the temple before them as devotees, who cited the celibate nature of the temple’s presiding deity Lord Ayyappa, protested violently in the temple complex and throughout the state. The Supreme Court had in September last year ordered the lifting of the ban on women or girls of menstruating age from entering the temple, which has refused to abide by the ruling.
Vijayan said during a press conference that it was his government’s constitutional obligation to help Bindu Ammini and Kanakadurga and warned that troublemakers will be dealt with sternly amid reports of widespread violence during a shutdown call given by the opposition BJP. Sabarimala Karma Samiti is also enforcing the shutdown across the state.
“The Sangh Parivar is trying to sabotage the Supreme Court verdict. The real devotees are not against the verdict,” the chief minister said.
The president of the state unit of the BJP PS Sreedharan Pillai said the party will draw the attention of the central government to the situation in Kerala. “Stalinist administration in the state have trampled believers A bunch of atheists are stifling age-old customs,” he said earlier.
Police tightened security in the state as the shutdown turned violent in several places. At least 57 buses were destroyed and offices of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and BJP have been attacked in several areas of the state since Wednesday.
The Congress-led UDF has said it will observe a protest day on Thursday.
Kerala’s director general of police Loknath Behera has said strict action will be taken against those flouting rules during the shutdown. Behera also directed authorities to give special attention to pilgrims so that they remain unaffected by the shutdown.
However, many pilgrims bound for Sabarimala temple called off their pilgrimage saying that the sanctity of the temple has been breached. Two big groups from Tamil Nadu returned in the morning.
Relatives of one of the women, who entered the temple, have been moved to a safe house by the police.
First Published: Jan 03, 2019 12:06 IST