Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala BJP leaders began a sit-in hunger strike from December 3 in front of the secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram. Their main demands to the state government were the withdrawal of prohibitory orders in Sabarimala and removal of heavy police deployment in the famous shrine.

As per latest reports, the BJP plans to end their hunger strike after the Sabarimala shrine closes for this season on January 19. The Ayyappa devotees can have darshan till January 19 at Sabarimala after when the shrine will reopen on February 12 for the monthly puja in Kumbam Masam (February to March).

The party had decided to continue with the strike till January 22 when the Supreme Court is supposed to consider the review petition. As the date of the review has been adjourned, the party is planning to end their strike after the shrine closes its doors. 

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said it might not start hearing pleas seeking a review of the Sabarimala verdict from January 22 as one of the judges is on medical leave.

Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had stated that Indu Malhotra, the lone woman judge of the bench considering the case, is on medical leave and so the case is unlikely to be considered on January 22. She had earlier opposed the entry of women of menstruating age into Sabarimala. The Supreme Court verdict on September 28 had triggered massive protests across Kerala.

The court had earlier decided to consider the pleas on January 22. A total of 49 review petitions have been filed before the court.  

The strike saw many events unfold in the state as the days went by. None more so forgotten is the devotee suicide in front of the secretariat.

On December 13, an Ayyappa devotee committed suicide in front of the secretariat where the BJP leaders were protesting. The BJP also called for a state-wide dawn-to-dusk hartal on December 14 over his death. 

Regarding this issue, BJP leader MT Ramesh said that the Ayyappa devotee took this extreme step protesting the state government's attitude towards Sabarimala issue. According to him, the devotee was annoyed by the government’s irresponsible approach towards the BJP.

Speaking to media personnel, he said that the government has not been able to provide the necessary security for the BJP leaders and the suicide attempt is testimony to this.