The situation in Kerala remains tense a day after two women, aged between 10 and 50 years, entered the Sabarimala temple on Wednesday (January 2nd). Protests are being held in different parts of the state and the Opposition has slammed the Pinarayi Vijay-led Left front government for the unrest.
The Sabarimala temple in Kerala has been the site of protests and agitations ever since the Supreme Court, in September 2018, lifted the ban on entry of women of menstrual age into the temple.
On Wednesday evening, an activist of the Sabarimala Karma Samithi was injured in a clash. He died as a result of his injuries at a hospital in Pandalam late at night. The deceased has been identified as 55-year-old Chandran Unnithan. He suffered head injuries after allegedly being hit by a stone during a clash between workers of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the ruling CPI(M) in Pandalam.
Sabarimala Karma Samithi is an umbrella organisation of various pro-Hindutva groups, spearheading protests against the Supreme Court’s September 28 verdict
Police said they have initiated a probe into the case.
Opposition, Hindu oufits calls for hartal today
Meanwhile, the Opposition alliance–United Democratic Front (UDF)-is observing a ‘black day’ in the Kerala today in connection with Sabarimala Temple women entry issue.
Besides the UDF, a various Hindu outfits have also called a dawn-to-dusk 12-hour hartal in protest against the entry of two women of menstruating age into the Sabarimala temple of Lord Ayyappa .
As per initial reports, auto-rickshaws and two-wheelers were plying at the railway station in the state capital and various other places. But in Kozhikode, protesters blocked vehicles and burnt tyres in the morning. The hartal, which began at 6 am, has been called by Sabarimala Karma Samithi and Antarrashtriya Hindu Parishad (AHP).
The BJP is supporting the shutdown while the Congress-led UDF is observing a “black day” on Thursday.
Various universities, including Kerala, Mahatma Gandhi, Calicut and Kannur have postponed their examinations scheduled for Thursday.
Kerala DGP Loknath Behera has directed all district police chiefs to take necessary actions and ensure routine life is not affected. He is learnt to have instructed the officers to take strict actions against those involved in any kind of violence.
Kerala govt hotel attacked in Tamil Nadu
The unrest over the Sabarimala temple issue is not limited to Kerala. In neighbouring Tamil Nadu, a Kerala government-run hotel was attacked on Wednesday night by unidentified persons in suspected backlash over two women of menstruating age entering the Sabarimala temple, news agency PTI said in a report.
A police officer said that a facility run by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation on the arterial Greams Road was attacked by unidentified people.
Though the attack was suspected to be a fallout of two women entering the Sabarimala temple in neighbouring Kerala, the official said since the probe was at a “very preliminary stage” nothing could be confirmed as of now.