Kerala Minister EP Jayarajan on Wednesday blamed Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) for violence that broke out during the protest as women attempted to trek to the Sabarimala from the base camp.
Addressing media, Jayarajan said, “RSS criminals hid in forests and attacked the Ayappa devotees. 10 media personnel, 5 devotees and 15 policemen were attacked: Kerala minister EP Jayarajan on incidents of violence today.”
Further stating that 10 KSRTC buses were damaged, he said, “Devotees from other states were beaten up and sent back. RSS-BJP is behind all of this. Supreme Court rule applies to all, the government is just following & implementing it.”
The base camps of Pamba and Nilackal witnessed intensified protests as the Lord Ayyappa temple opened for the five-day monthly pooja this evening, for the first time after the landmark top court verdict.
Following violence by miscreants Section 144 (prohibits assembly of more than 4 people in an area) has been imposed in Pampa, Nilakkal, Sannidhanam, and Elavungal.
Kerala Minister KK Shailaja said, “I can predict what is going on there, I think it is intentional, it’s dirty politics they (protesters) are playing. We can’t say if they are actual devotees. Supreme Court’s order is Constitutional & govt is bound to implement it.”
However, BJP’s MS Kumar said that the LDF govt is fully responsible for any law and order situation in the state. “It’s a very unfortunate situation. We aren’t responsible. No BJP worker is involved, we are condemning that attempt,” he said.
The women reporters of two national TV channels on their way to Pamba for news coverage were blocked by a violent crowd which was seen banging their cars while shouting they go back as a tense situation prevailed in the area.
The journalists were forced to get out of the vehicles by the crowd of men, protesting against the apex court order lifting the ban on entry of women in the age group of 10-50 to enter the famous hill temple of Lord Ayyappa at nearby Sabarimala.
Meanwhile, police arrested activist Rahul Easwar from the Nilakkal base. A non-bailable FIR has been registered against him and he is kept at Pamba police station. More than 40 hooligans have been taken into custody.
After getting arrested Easwar mellowed down and pleaded “I didn’t hit any woman there. I was moving to the other direction. It’s a vendetta against me,”
The apex court had on September 28 passed a historic judgment lifting the ban on entry of girls and women of menstrual age into the temple, a verdict that was hailed by rights activists but opposed by traditionalists.