As the temple opened to all devotees on October 17, protesters were trying to block women from visiting the shrine. The police eventually resorted to lathi charge. The place is deserted today with prohibitory orders being issued. But some are defying the rules
Nilakkal: Just a day after Kerala witnessed violence near the Sabarimala shrine with protesters fighting against the entry of women of menstrual age, the state government has issued prohibitory orders banning the gathering of more than five people in Sannidhanam, Pamba, Nilakkal, and Elavungal.
The Yuva Morcha protesters defied the orders and blocked the road at Nilakkal, leading to the arrest of five of the 41 protesters. They were then taken away to Pamba police station. The protesters were heard chanting Ayyappa slogans and issuing threats claiming that they will ‘thwart’ the Sabarimala verdict.
The Sabarimala Protection Committee has called for a 12-hour state-wide strike on Thursday in Kerala. Many shops are shut, and vehicles are off the roads.
Also read: Sabarimala temple row: Protesters call for 12-hour strike across Kerala
While the bandh is in favour of the protesters, Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala has said that the key issue in Sabarimala was "not one of gender equality".
As the gates of the Sabarimala temple were flung open, a crowd of male devotees surged toward the temple. About 1,000 police used batons to try to control the protesters, who attacked them with stones and damaged police and TV vehicles and bullied female devotees to turn back.
Also read: Sabarimala temple opens to violent protests, no woman gets entry on day one
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said no one would be allowed to stop devotees going to Sabarimala. This morning, however, two journalists of the New York Times were forced to drop their trek to Sabarimala after facing protests.
With the strike being called in place, the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) will not be conducting its services today after a KSRTC bus was vandalised at Laka near Nilakkal base camp by protesters on Wednesday.
Slogans were raised against the Supreme Court order outside the Sabarimala shrine. A priest from a nearby temple termed the situation at Sabarimala as "unfortunate". He also said that the women who generally used to come for the prayers did not show up on Thursday because they feared an attack on them.
VN Vasudevan Namboothiri from Palakkad has been selected as the chief priest of Sabarimala temple, whereas MN Narayanan Namboothiri has been chosen as the chief priest of Malikappuram Devi temple.
Chaos engulfs God's own country. Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan from the UAE said, "These attackers are motivated by casteist and feudal ideologies. Encouraging such movements will eventually lead to the banishment of backward classes from places like Sabarimala. All believers must condemn this attack on Sabarimala".
With agency inputs
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Last Updated Oct 18, 2018, 3:26 PM IST