Malayalam writer K.P. Ramanunni 'atones' for Kathua rape and murder

Amid protests from Sangh Parivar activists, writer K.P. Ramanunni performed ‘shayana pradakshinam’ (prostration) at the Kadalayi Sree Krishna temple at Chirakkal here on Thursday as a show of penance for the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl inside a ‘devasthan’ (prayer hall) at Kathua in Jammu.

Sangh Parivar activists gathered outside the temple by the time Mr. Ramanunni reached the temple around 9 a.m. The ritual, held under the aegis of the Kerala Samskritha Sangham, ended by 10.15 a.m. Police personnel were deployed in large numbers at the temple in view of the tension.

Swami Dharma Chaithanya of the Sivagiri Madhom, who had announced that he would join the ritual, did not turn up. When Mr. Ramanunni reached the temple, activists of Vishwa Hindu Parishad sought to block him and said that he would be allowed to do it as a temple ritual and not as a protest.

“I took a dip in the temple pond and completed the ritual amid provocations by Sangh Parivar workers,” Mr. Ramanunni told The Hindu. Though many of his supporters, including women, joined him, they could not do the shayana pradakshinam for lack of space. He rolled for some time and then completed the ritual by foot.

There was tension when the Sangh Parivar activists created a commotion over someone’s attempt to take a photograph of the ritual. Asked about the absence of Swami Dharma Chaithanya, Mr. Ramanunni said the Sangh Parivar’s huge campaign against the protest could have been the reason for the Swami’s absence.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) district secretary P. Jayarajan, in a statement, said Mr. Ramanunni’s prayer in the temple was a symbol of responses of the believers against the misuse of places of worship by fanatics.

The Hindu Aikya Vedi, in a statement, alleged that the temple premises were turned into a venue of protest with the support of the CPI(M), violating its sanctity. Terming the protest an attempt to destroy the temple and temple faith, the statement said the Kathua incident was being raised again in collusion with organisations such as the Jamaat-e-Islami to trigger incidents that had happened in Malappuram.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 8:46:40 PM |

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