Two women under 50 years of age enter Sabarimala temple

Bindu, Kanakadurga are in their early 40s; Tantri performs rites of purification at temple; 1 killed as protests erupt against govt.; Dawn-to-dusk strike called for Thursday

January 02, 2019 11:01 am | Updated November 28, 2021 09:42 am IST

Video footage shows two women at the Sabarimala temple

Video footage shows two women at the Sabarimala temple

Two young women entered the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple in Kerala under police cover in the early hours of Wednesday, triggering anti-government protests across the State. Chandran Unnithan (55), a BJP worker, was killed when a protest march taken out by the Sabarimala Karma Samithi (SKS) in the palace town of Pandalam was pelted with stones by miscreants. He suffered a head injury and died later in hospital.

The women who were in their early 40s — Bindu from Kozhikode and Kanakadurga from Malappuram — reached the foothills around 1.30 a.m. at Pampa, from where they were escorted to the temple by plainclothes policemen.

This is the first time that women in the 10-50 age group have managed to enter the temple following the Supreme Court verdict of September 28.

Protesters owing allegiance to the Sangh Parivar and Bharatiya Janata Party took to the streets, blocked roads, threw stones and clashed with the police, leading to tense situations at several places.

The SKS has called for a Statewide dawn-to-dusk hartal on Thursday.

 

In the stone-pelting in Pandalam, besides Mr. Unnithan, 10 were injured, three of them seriously.

Mr. Unnithan belongs to Kurampala near Pandalam. According to reports received in Pathanamthitta, certain miscreants pelted stones, bricks, and concrete blocks at the SKS march from the rooftop of the building that housed the CPI(M) office in the town.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan later confirmed the temple entry of Bindu and Kanakadurga. “Yes, they have had darshan.”

The temple chief priest, Kandararu Rajeevararu, closed the sanctum sanctorum at 10.35 a.m. to perform ‘purification’ rites after it was confirmed the two young women had offered worship. The temple reopened after the hour-long rites.

 

Both the Congress-led United Democratic Front and the BJP came out against the government, accusing it of “masterminding” the operation and “hurting” the religious sentiments of devotees.

Alleging that the government was behind the “violation of the temple traditions”, the BJP announced that it would support the hartal on Thursday.

The Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee too has decided to observe a ‘black day’ on Thursday, protesting against the government for allegedly violating the ritualistic practices at Sabarimala and “hurting religious sentiments.”

 

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