Sabarimala LIVE Updates: The Nair Service Society (NSS) has decided to approach the Centre to bring out an Ordinance to protect the Ayyappa temple rituals in Sabarimala, NSS general secretary G Sukumaran Nair said.
“The only solution to such a crisis situation is to close the sanctum sanctorum and to initiate corrective measures,” said Sukumaran Nair.
Earlier, a woman journalist was allegedly assaulted by the Bharatiya Janata Party workers in Thiruvananthapuram while she was covering statewide protests against entry of two women devotees, in their forties, into Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala.
Ruckus at Kerala House in Delhi | Protestors attacked media outside Kerala House in Delhi. They also tried to pelt stones at the Kerala House, but were stopped by the police, which was followed by a ruckus. Besides, the mobile phone of a News18 Tamil Reporter, Suchitra, was intentionally broken by one of the protestors after he attacked her.
Ayyappa Devotees Burn Vijayan's Effigy in Hyderabad on Sabarimala Issue | Groups of devotees of Lord Ayyappa held demonstrations on Thursday in different parts of the city in protest against the entry of two women of menstruating age into the Sabarimala temple in Kerala. Holding placards that read "Save Sabarimala", the protesting devotees took out a rally in Saidabad area in Hyderabad and squatted on the road. They raised slogans against Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and later also burnt his effigy.
Kerala Governor Seeks Report from CM on Sabarimala Violence | As Kerala saw widespread violence on Thursday, Governor P Sathasivam sought an "urgent report" from Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on the disturbances during the 12-hour statewide shutdown called by Hindu fringe groups and supported by the BJP. He also appealed to all sections of people to maintain calm and peace across the state.
Sabarimala Panel Says Special Police Protection to Women Would Affect Rights of Pilgrims | A three-member panel appointed by the Kerala High Court to oversee the ongoing Sabarimala pilgrimage season has said granting special police protection to women in menstrual age to enter the Lord Ayyappa temple would adversely affect the rights and safety of other devotees. In a report submitted in the high court Thursday, the committee referred to the incidents when police escorted 11 women activists of Manithi, a Chennai-based outfit, to Sabarimala on December 23 and two women on the next day and said this contributed to the long queue of pilgrims from the base camp at Pampa up to the place of hold up. The December 25 report also said because of the incidents, devotees, including women and children, had to wait for hours together for getting darshan.
KSRTC Takes Out Symbolic Procession of Damaged Buses | As a mark of protest, Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) took out a procession of the buses damaged in the hartal. So far, 100 buses have been damaged and the KSRTC has incurred a loss of Rs 3 crores and 35 lakhs in one day. The procession began from the KSRTC Chief Office to the Secretariat.
DUJ Condemns Attacks on Journos in Kerala | The Delhi Union of Journalists have condemned the widespread attacks against journalists by the right wing elements in Kerala. The media has been a target of attacks during the violent protests on Sabarimala issue. On Wednesday, a woman video journalist was brutally assaulted in Thiruvananthapuram and on Thursday attacks against journalists were reported from various districts in the state. The DUJ has called upon the Kerala government to take stringent measures against the perpetrators of violence. It further expresses solidarity with the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ), who are mainly facing the attacks along with some others.
60 Arrested in Tamil Nadu | Sixty workers of a Tamil Nadu-based fringe Hindu outfit were arrested for trying to stage a 'rail-roko' on Thursday in protest against the entry of two women of menstruating age group into the Sabarimala temple in Kerala, police said. The Hindu Makkal Katchi activists were prevented from staging the protest at a railway station in Coimbatore, the police said. Fifteen members of the Bharatiya Janata Party lawyers' wing here burnt a portrait of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. They raised slogans against him for failing to maintain the shrine's "sanctity".
'Purification of Sabarimala Temple After Women's Entry Demeaning' | The All India Democratic Women's Association has expressed strong objection to the purification rituals carried out by the priests after two women of menstruating age visited the Sabarimala temple, calling it "demeaning" as it projects women as "impure" and "unclean". "The purification ritual is demeaning to women as it projects them as 'impure' and 'unclean'. It is also a clear violation of the Supreme Court verdict," AIDWA said in a statement.
266 Arrested, Investigation on | So far, 266 people have been arrested and 334 people have been taken into preventive detention for the various hartal related violence. A Special squad will be formed by the district police chiefs to investigate into the matter. The Special Squad will conduct an inquiry and hand over the list of the accused to the district police chief. The mobile phones of the suspects will be confiscated and digital examination will be done. A search operation will also be conducted to check to check for weapons
Kerala in Turmoil | The dawn-to-dusk shutdown called by Sabarimala Karma Samithi, an umbrella organisation of various pro-Hindutva groups, and the Antarrashtriya Hindu Parishad (AHP), plunged the state into turmoil, as hundreds of Hindu right-wing activists disrupted vehicular movement, and vandalised shops and offices of the ruling CPI(M).
Symbolic Procession of Damaged Buses | A symbolic procession of the damaged buses in Thiruvananthapuram will begin shortly after a press briefing by the CMD on the destruction caused by the hartal at 4:30 pm. Kerala was in ferment on Thursday, a day after two women of menstruating age entered the Sabarimala temple, infuriating saffron outfits, with protesters blocking roads by placing burning tyres and granite blocks, and clashes leaving three BJP workers injured in a knife attack.
Accusing the BJP of giving mileage to violence and hatred in the state for political gains, Vijayan says, “This is the BJP’s fifth hartaal on the issue. Meanwhile the Sangh parivaar held seven hartals in the past three months. Ideally, hartal of such measures is the last resort. But in the name of accident, death and suicide, the BJP continues its hartal politics. This is against the Supreme Court order on the ban of women to Sabarimala temple.”
"The two women who had gone for darsan at sabarimala could not do it in the first attempt. So they approached the police for protection. Bound by SC’s order, the police then extended its protection to the women. These women undertook the same route as the rest of the devotees, without the use of a helicopter,” Vijayan says. Continuing his address, he adds that the women were helped by other devotees on the way and nobody tried to obstruct their journey. “Nothing happened for a few hours, but, when the news spread all hell broke loose,” he says. Accusing the RSS, BJP of politicizing the issue, the Kerala CM then says, “There were no natural protests by the devotes in the state, but those who wanted to reap benefits from this development, gave meaning to protests and orchestrated violence.This is a planned protest of the Sangh Parivaar.” Condemning the act as a “political conspiracy of the right-wing leaders, Vijayan says that strict action will be taken against this.
Jet Airways issues a notice to warn its passengers of possible transportation issues in face of the ongoing protests in Kerala. Air India, too has issued an advisory, asking passengers travelling to various parts of Kerala to schedule their travel programs in lieu of the protests. "Protests at several locations in Kerala may affect passengers travelling from #Kochi, #Thiruvananthapuram, #Kozhikode. Passengers are requested to schedule their travel plans to/from airports accordingly," the airline tweeted.
ALSO READ | 'Open to Reforms': RSS Softens Stand on Sabarimala Row Amid Protests by Right-wing Outfits
RSS saha prantha karyavahak M Radhakrishnan said that Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is open to reform as long as it was done by the right stakeholders.
Homes of five CPM party leaders in Kerala have been attacked and ransacked. The party leaders suspect right-wing protestors from RSS to be behind the attacks. In many places, the Karnataka State Road Corporation (KSRTC) had to stop its bus operations as bandhs and hartals continue to disable normal life. A Kerala bus was also vandalised in Thrissur. 8 local BJP leaders have been reportedly taken into preventive custody after fresh cases of stone pelting and violence were reported. These leaders were at panamaram in Wayanad where they were trying to forcefully shut shops
Journalists Reporting on Sabarimala Attacked by BJP Protesters | As the news of the women entering the temple spread on Wednesday, protests erupted with right-wing activists blocking highways and forcing closure of shops and markets. Media personnel, reporting from outside the state secretariat, were allegedly attacked by BJP and Yuva Morcha activists. Among the journalists attacked were Asianet reporter Prakula, Deccan Chronicle photojournalist Peethambaran Payyeri, Mathrubhumi video-journalist Biju. Camera and equipment of channels like Mathrubhumi and Media One were also damaged. The Kerala Union of Working Journalists' flayed the attack on the media personnel and sought stern action.
BJP's Amit Malviya Reacts to Devotee's Death | BJP's National Information Techonology chief Amit Malviya launched a scathing attack on the Penarayi Vijayan-led Kerala government, after a devotee who was participating in protests against women's entry to Sabarimala was killed. " 54 year old Chandran Unnithan, who suffered a head injury, because of a stone hurled from an area near CPM area committee office in Pandalam is no more. He was protesting defiling of Sabarimala shrine by the Communists," he Tweets. Holding the CM responsible for his death, Malviya writes, "You killed an Ayyappa devotee, Pinarayi Vijayan."
Heavy police security has been deployed across Kerala against the backdrop of multiple protests and strikes evoked by various outfits and the people of the state against women's entry in Sabarimala temple. Fresh protests have erupted since Wednesday, after two women of menstrual age undertook the Sabarimala Temple pilgrimage and entered Lord Ayappa's shrine to do darshan.
This is the the seventh shutdown called by right-wing groups in just three months over the Sabarimala issue. Traders' organisations have said they will not cooperate with the shutdown and sought police protection to open their establishments. On December 20, over 35 trade organisations in Kerala had come together to announce that 2019 will be 'anti-hartal year'.
The Pandalam police has reportedly taken two CPM workers into custody in relation to the death of a Ayappa devotee who succumbed to his injuries in a stone pelting incident. Chandran Unnithan, 54, who was injured in stone pelting at Panthalam in the morning, passed away at Believers church hospital Thiruvalla at around 11 pm. He was participating in a protest march by Sabarimala Karma samithy against the entry of two women at Sabarimala.
Protests In Hyderabad | United Democratic Front to observing 'black day' in the state in connection with the issue of women's entry in the Sabarimala Temple. The Hindus in Hyderabad too, are protesting against the Kerala government and against the disruption of the centuries old traditions associated with Lord Ayappa of Sabarimala Temple. A great protest is planned for Thursday, which starts from the Kamalanagar Ayyappa Temple in Hyderabad.
In response to two women entering the shrine early Wednesday, protests broke out around Kerala.Kerala DGP Loknath Behera on Wednesday said strict action will be taken against those flouting rules of law and order during the bandh called for by some organisations over the entry of two women of menstrual age into the Sabarimala temple. Furthermore, Behera directed all concerned authorities to give special attention to pilgrims so that they remain unaffected
Images and video of Kairali TV camerawoman Shajila Ali Fathim, covering protests on Wednesday despite the attack, have gone viral on social media. According to Dool News, Fathim said that she was not afraid of the BJP and would continue to cover the agitations. The journalist was lauded by netizens for her courage, despite being visibly disturbed.
A 37-year-old man was stabbed during a clash between workers of the BJP and the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) in Thrissur, while two were injured. In Thiruvananthapuram, two Congress workers were hurt after CM’s cavalcade hit them while they were showing black flags to Pinarayi Vijayan near secretariat.
A dawn-to-dusk 12-hour hartal called by Hindu outfits began on Thursday morning in protest against the entry of two women of menstruating age into the Sabarimala temple of Lord Ayyappa. The shutdown turned violent at several places as incidents of vandalism were reported in Thiruvanathapuram, Calicut, Malappuram and others. Houses of five CPM leaders were also attacked, while eight local BJP workers were taken into preventive custody.
Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation authorities have said that buses remain off roads due to the hartal (strike). A Kerala bus was also vandalised in Thrissur. A pro-Hindutva group in Hyderabad has also called for a protest against “the heinous act of the Communist government”.
This is the the seventh shutdown called by right-wing groups in just three months over the Sabarimala issue. Traders’ organisations have said they will not cooperate with the shutdown and sought police protection to open their establishments. On December 20, over 35 trade organisations in Kerala had come together to announce that 2019 will be ‘anti-hartal year’.
Meanwhile, a CPM worker has been held in connection with the death of a man during protests in Pandalam.
As the news of the women entering the temple spread on Wednesday, protests erupted with right-wing activists blocking highways and forcing closure of shops and markets. Media personnel, reporting from outside the state secretariat, were allegedly attacked by BJP and Yuva Morcha activists.
Announcing the dawn-to-dusk shutdown on behalf of the Sabarimala Karma Samiti Samiti, its leader K P Sasikala said the government has betrayed devotees. The Samiti, which is spearheading protests against the Supreme Court’s September 28 verdict allowing women of all age groups to offer prayers at the hill shrine, urged people to cooperate with them in their protest. Sasikala said the protests would continue till Pinarayi Vijayan resigns as chief minister.
The United Democratic Front (UDF) will also observe a ‘Black Day’ across the state. UDF convenor Benny Behanan said that it is declared against the violation of customs in Sabarimala and hurting the sentiments of devotees by allowing women secretly to the temple.
Scripting history, two women who are in their 40s entered the Ayyappa temple early Wednesday and offered prayers. Sasikala said the government acted like a “coward” and took the women to the shrine during the early hours.
Among the journalists attacked were Asianet reporter Prakula, Deccan Chronicle photojournalist Peethambaran Payyeri, Mathrubhumi video-journalist Biju. Camera and equipment of channels like Mathrubhumi and Media One were also damaged.
The Kerala Union of Working Journalists’ flayed the attack on the media personnel and sought stern action.
The Antharashtriya Hindu Parishad has also called for a hartal Thursday. The Nair Service Society, an outfit of Kerala’s forward Nair community, condemned the violation of Sabarimala’s centuries-old tradition and said it would continue its legal battle to protect the faith of Ayyappa devotees.
NSS, which has filed a review plea in the Supreme Court challenging its verdict, expressed hope that the top court would take a favourable decision. The top court will consider the review plea on January 22.
Addressing a meeting of NSS members on the occasion of the Mannam Jayanti celebrations at its headquarters in Changanassery near Kottayam, NSS general secretary G Sukumaran Nair said it would approach the Centre if the apex court rejects its plea. “We will continue our legal battle,” he said.
“If there is a divine intervention, definitely, the verdict will be in favour of us,” Nair added. An ordinance is the only other way out if the top court rejects the plea seeking review of its earlier verdict, he said.
The Supreme Court had refused to stay its verdict allowing entry of women of all age groups into the shrine, but agreed to hear in open court on January 22 a batch of review petitions in the matter.
Nair supported the decision taken by the chief priest of the temple to perform a ‘purification’ ceremony after the two women entered the shrine and offered prayers, violating the tradition of the temple.
Raising voice against the shutdown, tourism industry representatives, including Kerala Tourism Task Force convener Abraham George, said the sector was gradually returning to normal after last August’s deluge.
In view of the severe damage to the sector in the floods causing huge revenue loss, the tourism industry will function as usual during the shutdown, a statement issued by the representatives said.