Sabarimala row: Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan lashes out at BJP, RSS for violence during hartal

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala ChiefMinister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday lashed out at the BJP and the RSS overprotests against the entry of two women into the Sabarimala temple, saying theviolence unleashed by them will be dealt with strongly. Vijayan said the twowomen were not “airdropped” to Sabarimala but went as normal devoteesand the other pilgrims did not protest.

“Kanakadurgaand Bindu were given protection after they sought security to visit the shrine.They were not airdropped. They visited shrine like normal devotees. None of thedevotees protested,” he told reporters here. The chief minister also saidthat conducting hartal over women’s entry into the shrine was like callinghartal against the Supreme Court’s order. Coming down heavily on the chiefpriest’s action of closing the temple for purification ceremony, Vijayan saidthis was against the apex court’s verdict.

“Suchthings are to be decided by the Devaswom Board. The action was not only aviolation of the Supreme Court’s verdict but also against the rules of theboard,” Vijayan added. Widespread violence was witnessed in the stateafter two women of the traditionally barred age group visited the shrine earlyWednesday. A total of 79 KSRTC buses were damaged in stone-pelting. Many mediapersonnel, including women, were attacked and 31 policemen were injured.

CPI(M) partyoffices were also attacked at many places. Right-wing parties and a section ofdevotees under the aegis of Sabarimala Karma Samiti have been protestingagainst the September 28 verdict of the apex court allowing women of all agesinto the hill shrine of Lord Ayyappa. Following the entry of the two women, theSamiti, had called for a dawn-to-dusk hartal Thursday, which was beingsupported by the BJP.

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