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News18 » Politics
2-min read

Women Who Prayed at Sabarimala Faced No Protests by Devotees, Says Vijayan in Sharp Attack on BJP, RSS

Accusing the BJP of a political conspiracy, Kerala CM said that violence in the state has been carefully orchestrated for political gains. “Women have been given permission to enter to the Sabarimala by the Supreme Court. Protests by the BJP shows that they are challenging this verdict.”

News18.com

Updated:January 3, 2019, 3:45 PM IST
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Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday accused the BJP and RSS of turning the state into a “war zone” as violent protests continue to rage after two women of menstruating age entered Sabarimala temple and offered prayers before dawn on Wednesday.

A dawn-to-dusk 12-hour hartal called by Hindu outfits began on Thursday morning in protest against the entry of the two women. As the shutdown turned violent at several places -- with incidents of vandalism reported in Thiruvanathapuram, Calicut, and Malappuram -- Vijyan accused Hindu-outfits of turning the holy shrine into a battlefield.

Addressing a press conference in the state capital, Vijayan said that the state government is only following the law and mandate of the Supreme Court by providing security and necessary arrangements to women who wanted to visit the holy shrine.

“People are aware the protests are being sponsored by the BJP and the Sangh. We have only followed the verdict of the Supreme Court but there are anti-social elements who want to create ruckus and spread violence in the name of religion,” he said.

Talking about how the women were not given any special privileges, such as a helicopter, in order to make the journey to the temple, the Kerala CM said they went just like “any other devotee.”

“In fact, they were given requisite help by other devotees too. They faced no protest. It was only hours after their visit came to public knowledge that we saw protests and violence. There was no report of any violence before that,” he added.

Accusing the BJP of a political conspiracy, he then said that violence in the state has been carefully orchestrated for political gains. “Women have been given permission to enter to the Sabarimala by the Supreme Court. Protests by the BJP shows that they are challenging this verdict.”

“Women, media personnel, police officials have been attacked. Vehicles and shops have been destroyed. The state government is not going to spare anyone who indulges in such violence,” the CM said, pointing out that this was the BJP’s fifth hartaal on the issue, when “Ideally, hartal of such measures is the last resort.”

Vijayan also slammed the chief priest of the Sabarimala temple for shutting the temple in order to perform a “purification ritual” after the two women performed darshan.

“The priest shut the temple for purification. The priest was one of the parties to the case in SC. Now, he may choose to not agree with the verdict but he is bound to implement it. Only the Devasom board has the right to decide when to shut the temple. What the priest did was not just a violation of the SC order but also of the rules of the Board,” he said.

He also praised the women who came out in support of entry to Sabarimala. The government-sponsored Women's Wall in Kerala turned out to be significant in terms of massive women's participation. The 15-minute event was held on a 620-kilometre stretch to uphold gender equality and safeguard renaissance values against the frenzied protests barring implementation of SC’s Sabarimala verdict.

“The women’s wall gave a lot of lessons in Kerala, including those on courage and confidence. The new generation of Kerala might not know much about the history of our state. But now the wall has beome an important event for them to know how we reached the place we are in now,” he said.​

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| Edited by: Zoya Mateen
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