Kottayam: Kerala BJP president PS Sreedharan Pillai has alleged that Manithi group members came to visit Sabarimala temple as per the direction of the state chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

The state BJP has announced that it will observe December 24 as a day of protest regarding this issue.

Also read: Sabarimala: Protests force Manithi group’s 11 women to return without darshan

Manithi team’s women, who moved towards the Sannidhanam on December 23 to have darshan at Sabarimala had returned after a massive protest by the devotees. The Manithi group from Tamil Nadu had to withdraw their decision to enter the famous shrine after protesters chanting Ayyappa mantra surrounded them.

The 11 women were shifted to Pampa Ganapathy Temple and later were taken to a safe place. They were able to move only 200 metres further. When protests intensified, the police arrested and removed nearly 30 protesters from there. The Manithi team barged into the guard room. The police too fled from the spot.

Talking to reporters in Kottayam, Pillai also alleged that the Pinarayi government is attempting to sabotage the customs and rituals at Sabarimala with support from atheists. He also sought an investigation from a national agency against this move by the CPM.

“CPM is trying to transform Sabarimala into a battlefield. This drama was made by the government as part of their strategy to sabotage the peaceful atmosphere of Sabarimala. The members of this group are not even Hindus. There were several BJP leaders at Sabarimala on Saturday. The police behaved in a cruel manner with them. They are simply following the instructions from the chief minister’s office,” said Pillai.

Earlier, Sasikumar Varma, the Pandalam royal family representative, had raised doubts over the women who arrived in Pamba on Sunday. He suspected that they could have links with naxals.

Varma told the media that he had doubts about whether the group had observed Vrutha for 41 days.