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.
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.
Sabarimala temple entry for women Highlights: Protests gather pace in Kerala. Read in Malayalam and Tamil
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.
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.
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
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
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
'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
Right now, there is nothing happening the state the needs the CM's direct intervention& physical presence. It is possible for him to run the government smoothly from wherever he is. So, his absence for three days, is not in anyway affecting the state: Kodiyeri Balakrishnan,CPI(M) pic.twitter.com/RgGK2dl2Up— ANI (@ANI) October 19, 2018
CPI (M) Secretary slams Cong, BJP; claims Oppn causing hindrance for govt to abide by SC order
Yechury attacks 'saffron volunteers', draws parallel with Babri Masjid demolition
All the TV crews who went there which had women were roughed up, the pattern is very similar to the time of the Babri Masjid demolition. You have the heads of the volunteers wearing saffron bands, the same dress you found there then: Sitaram Yechury, CPI(M) #SabarimalaTemple pic.twitter.com/tnJllNvdtB
— ANI (@ANI) October 19, 2018
Similar thing is being done here (Sabarimala) so it is an organised thing that the RSS is doing. RSS has lost the battle of not letting the gates of Sabarimala open, they even lost the battle that the temple shouldn't open on time: Sitaram Yechury, CPI(M) #SabarimalaTemple pic.twitter.com/RgMUuKtwGP— ANI (@ANI) October 19, 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.
Former Travancore Devaswom Board president: Sabarimala not a place for sex tourism
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.
In a letter dated, 16 Oct MHA had asked Chief Secretaries&DGPs of Kerala, Tamil Nadu&Karnataka to take necessary measures to maintain law&order & 'prevent any untoward incident'. Letter also states 'Hindu outfits plan to organise protest prog on 17.10 at Nilakkal&Erumali village' pic.twitter.com/9CjsEjdDZz— ANI (@ANI) October 19, 2018
BJP volunteers guised as devotees are indulging in violence: Finance MInister of Kerala Thomas Issac
They are not devotees who are indulging violence but BJP volunteers who have gathered in the guise of devotees.There was no women devotee at the scenes of violence butonly women journalists and that too kilometres from the temple. Violence at Sabarimala is BJP’s manipulation.— Thomas Isaac (@drthomasisaac) October 19, 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.
People, not the devotees, who want to disrupt peace didn't allow us to enter. I want to know what was the reason. Tell me, in which way one needs to be a devotee. You tell me that first & then I will tell you if I'm a devotee or not: Woman activist Rehana Fatima #SabarimalaTemple pic.twitter.com/SRtHyllcuQ
— ANI (@ANI) October 19, 2018
I don't know what happened to my children. My life is also in danger. But they (police) have said that they will provide protection. That is why I am going back: Woman activist Rehana Fatima #SabarimalaTemple pic.twitter.com/UnmHuLugl1— ANI (@ANI) October 19, 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.
People of all ages will be allowed to go there. But at the same time we won't allow it to be a place where activists can come&showcase their power. It can't be a place where they prove certain points of theirs: State Devaswom (religious trusts) Minister #SabarimalaTemple #Kerala pic.twitter.com/5a4MvZYN0f— ANI (@ANI) October 19, 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.
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.
“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.
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.
Sabarimala is not a tourist spot, only devotees go there. Right now what Kerala police is doing is wrong. Had there been our govt we would've handled the situation better. We would've talked to devotees, there would've been no violence: R Chennithala, Congress #SabarimalaTemple pic.twitter.com/IT9wdDfdvA
— ANI (@ANI) October 19, 2018
We met the Governor & explained to him the current situation. Not only Hindus but people from all religions are going there. Everyone is worried. The woman activist (Rehana Fatima) was given a police uniform. It was wrong: Ramesh Chennithala, Congress #SabarimalaTemple #Kerala pic.twitter.com/9vh8FA4lsU— ANI (@ANI) October 19, 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:
Kerala: A woman devotee Mary Sweety returned midway after she was stopped by protesters at Pamba; says "I don't know about them ((journalist Kavitha Jakkal & woman activist Rehana Fatima). If women have returned, it is your drawback. I want to go there." #SabarimalaTemple pic.twitter.com/vzit2Skxqr— ANI (@ANI) October 19, 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.
Journalist, social activist begin descent from hill
Journalist Kavitha Jakkal and social activist Rehana Fathima, women who made an attempt to trek the hill shrine today morning, have begun their descent, fearing violence from protesters. They would take another 30 minutes to climb down the hill to Pamba, one of the base camps. Both women managed to walk past 'Marakootam' along with the police which was also the spot where a woman journalist from New York Times was blocked yesterday. On her way to the temple yesterday, the NYT reporter faced stone pelting from protesters which resulted in her descent.
Amdist mounting protest from devotees at Sabarimala, activist Rahna Fathima and lady scribe Kavitha return from hill shrine— shaju philip (@shajuexpress) October 19, 2018
Police detains BJP Pathanamthitta District President
BJP Pathanamthitta District President Hari who tried to sit in the middle of a road to protest has been detained by the police.
Hari informs, the social activist Rehana Fathima is the woman who was in the kiss of love protest has today attempted to climb Sabarimala. 'There are old women here that's why I cannot say the things she has done. Look up her fb profile and you will understand,' said Hari.
He further questioned why one of the women who climbed this morning went in police attire. 'This is a crude attempt by the CPM to destroy the beliefs of Hindus and Ayyappa devotees. We will never allow this to happen.'
Watch: Woman faints while protesting vigorously
Protests start at Erumeli, police detains B Gopalakrishnan along with other BJP leaders
Protests start in Erumeli as well and some BJP leaders including B Gopalakrishnan has been detained by the police. Protesters outside Erumeli Dharma Shastha Temple
(Protesters outside Erumeli Dharma Shastha Temple. Express photos)
Men vandalise house of women rights activist who started climbing hill shrine today morning
Two men on a motorbike vandalised the house of social activist Rehana Fatima today at 8 am, says Chief Inspector Siby. Fatima is one of the women who started her climb to the Sabarimala temple this morning.
(Express photos by Kiran Gangadhar/ IEMalayalam)
In pictures: Journalist, social activist on their way to Sabarimala temple
Govt must decide to either protect belief of devotees or implement agenda of few women: Congress leader Chennithala
"The govt must decide whether the beliefs of crores of devotees must be protected or to implement the agenda of a few women," says Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala.
He further said the govt must not lay the ground for BJP or RSS to exploit this situation. "We have been telling the govt from very early on not to take this situation lightly. Its a failure of police intelligence," says Chennithala.
Sabarimala is not a place for activists to show thier strength: Kerala minister
Our reporter Shaju Philip quotes Kerala minister Kadakampally Surendran.
sabarimala temple is not a place for activists to show thier strength, says Kerala minister Kadakampally Surendran. Two young women have tried to go hill shrine with police protection.
— shaju philip (@shajuexpress) October 19, 2018
Police may return to base camp with two women as protesters wait ahead
Police intend to return to Pamba, one of the base camps, with the two women as they do not wish to engage in violence. The government does not want Sabarimala to be a site for activism.
While the government indicates that it does not intend to turn Sabarimala into a conflict zone.
Protesters block way ahead of two women climbing hill shrine
A large number of protesters wait at Nadapanthal, a few hundred metres away from Sabarimala temple, as two women, journalist Kavitha Jakkal and social activist Rehana Fatima, make their way towards it, according to Manorama, our correspondent Vishnu Varma reports.
Large police contingent under IG Sreejith have reached Nadapanthal and are face to face with the protesters.
IG Sreejith speaks to protesters,' I know you are devotees of Ayyappa. We are also devotees of Ayyappa. But we have been bound to follow and implement the law. You must allow us to implement the law'. One of the protesters' replies, 'We will not allow you to take young women to the shrine. We are ready to die for our Lord.'
Many protesters have laid down on the road to block the police.
Two women trek to Sabarimala
Two women journalists have started her climb to the hill shrine this morning. Police led by IG S Sreejith have provided the reporters with a security ring. One of the women is ajournalist reportedly in her late 20s hailing from Hyderabad while the details of the second woman remain unknown, PTI reported.
Views of pilgrims and activists standing against SC's verdict
While TDB considers its options of tackling the present situation at Sabarimala, our correspondent Vishnu Varma present at the site, gives an account of pilgrims and activists' views.
Among people who stand against the Surpeme Court's verdict, 43-year-old Jayarajan from Perinthalmanna in north Kerala questioned why all the energy is focused on Sabarimala. “Are all Supreme Court verdicts being followed? What about underpaid nurses in Kerala? Despite SC orders, why are their wages not hiked? What about the Jacobite Church row?” “Vishwasam aanu, athine thagarkkaruth (It’s a belief, don’t break it),” he said.
Some activists of Hindu Aikya Vedi expressed their displeasure with the media. One of them said, “Why is the media calling us Hindu terrorists? Are we terrorists? Why is the media hell bent on allowing young women into Sabarimala?”
ICYMI: Temple Board (TDB) and royal family of Pandalam had earlier failed to reach consensus over review petition
In order to bring peace to the hill shrine, the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) on Thursday said it was ready to make a compromise which included to file a review petition in the Supreme Court.
The TDB and the royal family of Pandalam met Wednesday to discuss the ongoing protests and violence over Supreme Court's verdict related to the Sabarimala temple, however, the meeting went in vain as they failed to reach a consensus over filing a review petition in the apex court.
During the meeting, the royal family on Wednesday urged TDB to file a review petition in court, however, it met with a refusal from the temple board, which said it would continue the meeting today and consider the review petition as well.
Earlier to the protests and attacks on women, TDB had accepted the top court's judgment and vowed to abide by it, however, as the violence and agitation intensified, it decided to weigh its options.
Good morning! Welcome to our Live blog. Read all the latest updates on the Sabarimala issue, a day after the 24-hour bandh.
Sabarimala devotee not in favour of women entering shrine, say 'there are many Lord Ayyappa temples where women can go and pray'
#Kerala: Ganesh Kumar, a devotee from Vellore says, "I took Kambamedu route to #SabarimalaTemple, locals at every village were checking vehicles for women. Police didn't intervene as locals checked the vehicles. There are many Lord Ayyappa temples where women can go and pray. " pic.twitter.com/mzAKrS7axl— ANI (@ANI) October 18, 2018
Lord Ayyappa is a 'Nithya Bramhachari', sanctity of the temple should be preserved: Sabarimala devotee
Kerala: A devotee visiting #SabarimalaTemple protesting against the Supreme Court's verdict allowing entry of women in the temple says, "Lord Ayyappa is a 'Nithya Brahmachaari', this must be preserved at any cost. Sanctity of the temple should be preserved." pic.twitter.com/dtShVcHQXd— ANI (@ANI) October 18, 2018
Sabarimala protests: Kerala Minister, BJP chief cross sword over audio tape
A row broke out in Kerala over an audio clip which urged Lord Ayyappa devotees to reach Sabarimala disguised as devotees and create trouble with a Minister targeting the BJP over it and the latter denying any link. State Devasowm (religious trusts) Minister Kadakampally Surendran played the audio clip at a press meet and alleged it was the attempt by Sangh forces and BJP to mobilise people at the Lord Ayyappa temple to create trouble over the raging issue of entry of women of all age groups.
Case filed against devotees who pelted stones at NYT journalists today morning
A case has been registered against devotees who allegedly prevented the New York Times Delhi-based journalist from trekking and then forced her to climb down the hills today morning. The journalist later said she and her colleague decided to return after they were stopped by an "aggressive mob" which hurled stones at them. A stone hit her on the shoulder, she said. Police had said that they were ready to give her security but she decided to return because they didn't want "anybody to get hurt".
MHA advisory to Kerala govt: Ensure peace in view of Sabarimala protests
Centre has asked the Kerala government to ensure peace across the state following protests against the Supreme Court order allowing women of all age groups to enter Sabarimala temple, officials said. In an advisory, the Home Ministry said the maintenance of law and order, including providing security to women wishing to visit the temple, was the responsibility of the state government.
Police officers deployed to oversee security operations in Nilakkal and Pamba
Kerala Police has deployed three senior police officers to oversee the security operations in Nilakkal and Pamba, said state police chief Loknath Behera.