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Sabarimala HIGHLIGHTS: Yechury attacks Centre, says BJP ‘whipping up communal passion for electoral gains’

Sabarimala Temple Protests Kerala Highlights: Police and the two women are likely to return to Pamba as they don't intend to engage in violence. The government doesn't want Sabarimala to be a site for activism.

By: Express Web Desk Written by Vishnu Varma | New Delhi | Updated: October 20, 2018 8:38:17 am
Hydrabad based jounalist Kavitha Jakkal and activist Rehna Fathima step off shabarimala with police protection as they were not allowed to enter sannidhanam.Express Photo by Vignesh Krishnamoorthy.19,October,2018,Kerala.

Sabarimala Protests Today Highlights: Two women, a journalist and a social activist who started their climb to the Sabarimala hill Friday morning along with police security decided to descent fearing the protesters, waiting ahead for them.

Inspector General of Police Sreejith, leading a large police contingent, Friday morning spoke to the protesters in an attempt to reason with them, however, the agitators refused to budge replying, “We will not allow you to take young women to the shrine. We are ready to die for our Lord.”

Returning midway from their trek to Sabarimala, journalist Kavitha Jakkal was filled with pride and thankful for the support both women received. Woman activist Rehana Fathima, on the other hand, said that people who want to disrupt peace did not allow them to enter, not the devotees.

As protests continued and violence intensified on the second day since Sabarimala temple opened its doors, the Travancore Devaswom Board on Thursday said it was ready for any compromise to bring peace to the hill shrine, including a review petition in the top court. The Sabarimala temple is managed by the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), whose president is ruling CPM party leader A Padmakumar.

Sabarimala news in Malayalam 

Former Travancore Devaswom Board president Prayar Gopalakrishnan said that women trying to enter the shrine is an agenda-driven process and alleged that police is trying to help them in this activity.

Live Blog

Sabarimala temple entry for women Highlights: Protests gather pace in Kerala. Read in Malayalam and Tamil

19:25 (IST)19 Oct 2018
Centre not applying the yardstick of equal treatment of women on triple talaq issue to Sabarimala row: Yechury

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury Friday demanded to know why the Centre was not applying the yardstick of equal treatment of women it used on the triple talaq issue to the Sabarimala row and blamed the BJP for whipping up communal passions for electoral gains.  "The government did that saying equality of men and women is fundamental to our constitution and that it should be protected." "Therefore triple talaq is unequal treatment of women and they brought this ordinance. Same principle why they are not applying for Sabarimala?" he asked.

18:48 (IST)19 Oct 2018
Murmurs on ground suggest Sabarimala will polarise Kerala’s Hindu voters like never before

Hindus, who constitute nearly 55 per cent of Kerala’s population according to the last census, have rarely been polarised in elections in the state, and have never voted en bloc for any party, reports our correspondent Vishnu Varma. 

Read full story 

18:10 (IST)19 Oct 2018
Kerala PCC Chief says 'Vijayan is like the Roman Emperor Nero'; slams CM for absence from state

The Congress in Kerala Friday alleged that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was responsible for the present tense situation at Lord Ayappa temple in Sabarimala.  Attacking Vijayan, who is in UAE, Kerala PCC president Mullapally Ramachandran said "Vijayan is like the Roman emperor Nero who fiddled while Rome burned."  "The chief minister is holidaying in the Gulf along with his family.. he has failed to perform like a vigilant administrator," he said

17:46 (IST)19 Oct 2018
Travancore Devaswom Board Chief confirms plan to move against SC verdict

"We have decided to appeal against the Supreme Court verdict that allowed women of all age groups to enter Sabarimala Temple": A Padmakumar, President, Travancore Devaswom Board

17:37 (IST)19 Oct 2018
Ayyappa devotees detained by police for protesting against entry of women into the temple
17:18 (IST)19 Oct 2018
IN PHOTOS: These two women reached temple hilltop but returned amid protests

Two women reached the temple hilltop, however, protesters did not let them enter the shrine and they had to return back to Pamba fearing for their lives. See, in pictures

16:38 (IST)19 Oct 2018
'There is nothing happening in the state that needs the CM's direct intervention': Party secretary on CM Vijayan's UAE trip amid Sabarimala protests
16:29 (IST)19 Oct 2018
CPI (M) Secretary slams Cong, BJP; claims Oppn causing hindrance for govt to abide by SC order
15:56 (IST)19 Oct 2018
Yechury attacks 'saffron volunteers', draws parallel with Babri Masjid demolition
15:37 (IST)19 Oct 2018
Centre advises 3 southern states to tighten security due to protests

The Centre has asked the southern states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to tighten security in view of the continuing protests against the Supreme Court order allowing entry of women of all age groups to Sabarimala temple. The Union Home Ministry, in an advisory, asked the three states to closely monitor the dissemination of various "adverse" messages through social media and the Internet services, reported PTI.

15:22 (IST)19 Oct 2018
Former Travancore Devaswom Board president: Sabarimala not a place for sex tourism
14:29 (IST)19 Oct 2018
Left parties and pro-LWE groups campaign in favour of women entering Sabarimala

In a letter issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on Tuesday, it had asked Chief Secretaries and Director of General of Police Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to take necessary measures to maintain law and order and to 'prevent any untoward incident'. Letter also states that certain civil, women's rights activists, left parties and pro-LWE groups have been campaigning in favour of the Supreme Court verdict.

14:05 (IST)19 Oct 2018
BJP volunteers guised as devotees are indulging in violence: Finance MInister of Kerala Thomas Issac
13:42 (IST)19 Oct 2018
It was not devotees but people who want to disrupt peace who did not allow us: Rehana Fathima

Returning midway from their trek to Sabarimala, journalist Kavitha Jakkal was filled with pride and thankful for the support both women received. 'You've seen what dangeours situation we faced,' said Jakkal. Woman activist Rehana Fathima on the other hand said that people who want to disrupt peace did not allow them to enter, not the devotees. Citing her reason to tread back from the climb to hill shrine, Fathima said her life was in danger and so she has decided to return.

13:29 (IST)19 Oct 2018
Sabarimala can't be a place for activists to showcase their power: State Devaswon minister

Addressing the issue of two women who attempted to climb the hill shrine this morning, State Devaswon (religious trust) Minister Kadakampally Surendran said people of all ages will be allowed to go to Sabarimala, however, at the same time, it would not become a place where activists can showcase their power. "It can't be a place where they prove certain points of theirs," said the religious trust minister. Further, he said that it has become impossible for the government to figure out who is who as there are some people like activists trying to enter the temple.

13:12 (IST)19 Oct 2018
BSNL in 'no way' is connected with activites of Rehana Fathima: BSNL issues press release

In a press release, BSNL has issued a statement relating to their employee Rehana Fathima who was one of the two women who climbed hill shrine today morning, clarifying that BSNL is 'no way' connected with the activities of Fathima. General Manager of BSNL, Kerala telecom Circle S. Jyothi Sankar clarified in the press release, Fahima shall be 'fully responsible in her own personal capacity for her activities outside the normal business hours.

It further states that her actions are in no way related to the written assigned official responsibilites, as per BSNL Condusct and Service Rules and Regulations.

13:00 (IST)19 Oct 2018
Deep down ruling CPM, Opposition and BJP are aware Sabarimala has potential to upend politics in election year

In these battle of words between, deep down the ruling CPM, the Opposition Congress and the BJP realise that Sabarimala has the potential to upend politics in an election year. Senior Kerala BJP leader K Surendran said that “Sabarimala has become a turning point in Kerala politics,” which also reflects the party’s hope and confidence. 

Read| Congress boxed in, BJP benefits and CPM scrambles for cover in rapidly shifting Sabarimala politics

“The sentiments of believers cannot be overlooked”, said former Congress Chief Minister Oomen Chandy virtually echoing senior Kerala RSS functionary P Gopalan Kutty Master. The Congress, Chandy told The Indian Express, has not changed its position.  Sources in Kerala Congress said the party was boxed in a corner by an aggressive BJP. An element of one-upmanship in the party also contributed to taking the stand. 

12:46 (IST)19 Oct 2018
Sabarimala is not tourist spot, Kerala police is doing wrong: Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala

Kerala Congress Leader Ramesh Chennithala has reportedly met Governor Palanisamy Sathasivam today explaining him the present situation at Sabarimala. Addressing a conference he said, Kerala police is doing wrong and under his governance their party members would have spoken to the devotees and no viloence would have caused. 

12:22 (IST)19 Oct 2018
Third woman today wishes to climb hill shrine

A woman in her 40s from Kazhakootam near Trivandrum at Pamba has expressed her wish to climb the hill to the shrine, our correspondent Vishnu Varma has reported. The police are trying to reason with her and explaining her the security complications and chances of violence in case she proceeds towards the temple. The police has indirectly informed the woman that they cannot ensure security at the shrine, however, they have not stopped her. At present, the woman is at the police control room in Pamba. She would be the third woman today if she decides to climb the hill shrine.Kerala:

12:01 (IST)19 Oct 2018
I will shut shrine if women climb up temple, says head priest of Sabarimala

Sabarimala chief priest Kantararu Rajeevaru said he will shut the shrine and hand over the keys to management if women of menstruating age climbed up the 18 steps to the temple. He said he had come to this decision in consultation with the Pandalam royal family. 

Read more| Will shut Sabarimala temple if women are allowed

(ANI photo)

sabarimala, sabarimala temple, pinarayi vijayan, kerala temple case, supreme court temple, lord ayappa, nilakkal, nilackal, indian express, latest news Sabarimala hartal kerala Highlights: Hindu devotees stop a car to check if any women of menstruating age are headed towards the Sabarimala temple, at Nilakkal Base camp in Pathanamthitta district in Kerala. (Reuters)

Sabarimala hartal Kerala Highlights

On the first day of its opening, not one woman was able to enter the Sabarimala temple as all were either returned or their vehicles were attacked along the way to the shrine.

Women agitating against the Supreme Court's verdict had blocked roads leading to the temple, stopping and checking vehicles to ensure no woman reaches Sabarimala.

Read| How Nilakkal, the Sabarimala base camp, descended into chaos

Madhavi, a 45-year-old woman from Andhra Pradesh was forced to retreat with her son and daughter by angry activists of the Ayappa Dharma Sena. Another woman travelling to Sabarimala was stopped at a bus stand and asked to return and a Tamil Nadu couple, aged 45 and 40 years, on their way to Pamba, were forced to get off a state transport bus allegedly by activists of the Sabarimala Achara Samrakshana Samiti.

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