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Sunday, February 23, 2020

Sabarimala HIGHLIGHTS: BJP worker succumbs to injuries, traders boycott bandh call by Hindu outfits

Sabarimala HIGHLIGHTS: Bindu and Kanakadurga are residents of north Kerala, who had tried to climb up to Sabarimala temple on December 23 last year, but could not make it due to massive protests. 

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: January 3, 2019 7:46:38 am
Sabarimala LIVE updates: Two women allegedly enter shrine with help of police Sabarimala HIGHLIGHTS: Reportedly, the women started their climb around midnight. (Video grab)

After the Hindu outfits called for a state-wide hartal in protest of entry of two women into the Sabarimala hill shrine in Kerala, the traders and tourism firms here Wednesday vowed to boycott the bandh citing their financial losses. In December last year too, when the BJP called for a dawn-to-dusk hartal in Kerala protesting the suicide of a man over the Sabarimala agitation, traders’ organisations and firms operating in the tourism sector had cried foul.

More than three months after the Supreme Court allowed women of menstruating age to enter Kerala’s Sabarimala temple, two women in their 40s entered the shrine Wednesday. The women, identified as Bindu and Kanakadurga, reached inside the sanctum sanctorum early morning with help of the police who were in mufti.

A recording of their entry into the shrine has been doing rounds on WhatsApp. According to the video footage, the women have not climbed the sacred 18 steps used by pilgrims who take the 41-day vow and carry the sacred offering of ‘irumudikettu‘. They have used a side entrance, used by VIPs and the media, which gets them directly in front of the sopanam and into the sanctum of the temple. Protests erupted at different places in Kerala, mainly under the aegis of the RSS-backed Sabarimala Karma Samithi, against what they term the ‘violation of temple customs and traditions.’ The BJP organised protest marches to the secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram and road blockades in Kollam and Ernakulam. The Congress has also vowed to organise agitations throughout the state.

Live Blog

Two women have entered Kerala's Sabarimala temple today. Follow HIGHLIGHTS. Read in Malayalam


    02:05 (IST)03 Jan 2019
    Kerala govt run hotel attacked in Chennai

    A Kerala government-run hotel was attacked on Wednesday night by unidentified persons in suspected backlash over two women of menstruating age entering the Sabarimala temple in the neighbouring state. According to initial inputs, the outer glass panes in the hotel, including those at a security kiosk, were damaged in the attack, a police official told PTI.

    "As soon as we got a call, the local strength (of personnel under Thousand Lights jurisdiction) was rushed there," the official said. Though the attack was suspected to be a fallout of two women entering the Sabarimala temple in neighbouring Kerala, the official said since the probe was at a "very preliminary stage" nothing could be confirmed as of now. Further details are awaited.

    00:03 (IST)03 Jan 2019
    Security beefed up in Chennai after attack on Kerala guest house
    23:45 (IST)02 Jan 2019
    Hold Sabarimala chief priest for contempt of court: Kerala’s writers and intellectuals

    Nearly three months after the Supreme Court verdict opened the gates of women of all ages at Sabarimala, two women, escorted by police officials in plain clothes, offered prayers at the temple. Hours later, the chief priest or the ‘thantri’ abruptly closed the temple doors for about an hour to conduct the purification rituals.

    Read more here

    23:27 (IST)02 Jan 2019
    BJP worker wounded in stone pelting succumbs to injuries

    Pandalam police confirmed that Chandran Unnithan, a 55-year-old BJP worker who was wounded in the stone pelting, died around 10.30 pm today. He was seriously injured during a clash between CPM and BJP workers in front of the CPM party office.

    20:50 (IST)02 Jan 2019
    We did not face any issues: Bindu, who entered Sabarimala shrine

    One of the women devotees, Bindu, who entered the Sabarimala temple  said she, along with Kanaka Durga, has returned safely after offering prayers at the shrine without any hazards, reported ANI.

    18:11 (IST)02 Jan 2019
    BJP workers protest in Neyyatinkara

    BJP workers protest in Neyyatinkara.

    16:01 (IST)02 Jan 2019
    Activist Trupti Desai says the entry of women into Sabarimala is a "victory of equality"

    Social activist Trupti Desai Wednesday hailed the entry of two women below 50 years of age into the hill shrine in Kerala's Sabarimala, saying it is a "victory of equality".

    "This is a big victory for our agitation. It is a victory of equality. This is a good beginning for women in the new year", Desai told PTI from Pune. "Those against women's entry had openly thrown a challenge that no women in the 10-50 age group will be able to reach the 'sannidhanam'. Their agitation has now failed."

    She said that the temple authorities should allow women of all age groups to offer prayers at the Ayyappa shrine. Young women who have done online booking should also be allowed to go to the shrine and pray there, she said.

    "Today is a historic day for us. During the mandala puja season, many women were stopped. There was a tense atmosphere in Sabarimala", she said. Trupti Desai said she would not be able to visit the shrine before January 20 when it closes as there was a heavy rush of pilgrims and due to her prior programmes, but added that she would go there the next time it reopens.

    Desai was forced to return from the Kochi airport when she arrived to offer prayers at Sabarimala with six young women, following "nama japam" (chanting of Ayyappa hymns) protests by devotees and right wing outfits for 13 hours on November 16.
    She has, so far, spearheaded the campaign for women to be allowed into various religious places such as the Shani Shingnapur temple, the Haji Ali Dargah, the Mahalakshmi Temple and the Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple.

    15:53 (IST)02 Jan 2019
    Every women has the right to worship: Brinda Karat

    Senior CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat Wednesday said every woman has the right to worship at the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala in Kerala. "Every woman has the right to worship if they so wish," Karat told PTI, adding that the two women wanted to worship and they were enabled to do so. "They were given the security required (by the Kerala government)," the CPI(M) leader said.

    15:23 (IST)02 Jan 2019
    Protest march in Kochi against women entry into Sabarimala

    (Express photo by Nithin) 

    15:13 (IST)02 Jan 2019
    Protesters take out a procession in Kochi against women entry into Sabarimala temple

    (Source: Express photo)

    15:10 (IST)02 Jan 2019
    Procession underway in protest against women entry into Sabarimala temple at Kochi

    (Source: Express Photo)

    15:05 (IST)02 Jan 2019
    Women stayed at secret location, vowed to not return home: Reports

    According to reports, both women had stayed at a secret location, vowing not to return home until they offered prayers at the temple.

    14:03 (IST)02 Jan 2019
    Kerala: Hindu organisations call for statewide hartal tomorrow
    13:52 (IST)02 Jan 2019
    Pinarayi Vijayan a 'modern day Aurangzeb': BJP state president Pillai

    BJP state president PS Sreedharan Pillai called Vijayan a 'modern day Aurangzeb' who was out to destroy Hindu temples. "The ruling administration in Kerala consists of cheats. The way the women were taken to the temple smacked of an planned, organised conspiracy. The stand of the BJP has been vindicated. The ruling CPM was out to destroy the traditions of Sabarimala. Ayyappa devotees and the larger public will react strongly to this," Pillai told reporters.

    13:44 (IST)02 Jan 2019
    Entry of women was in line with the SC verdict: minister in-charge of temple administration

    Kadakampally Surendran, the minister in-charge of temple administration, said he was unaware of the women entering the temple until one of his aides showed him the videos circulating on WhatsApp. He added that the entry of the women was in line with the Supreme Court verdict.

    13:33 (IST)02 Jan 2019
    BJP workers waved black flags, blocked traffic

    BJP workers waved black flags at Devaswom minister Kadakampally Surendran in Guruvayur where he had gone to attend a function, PTI reported. Health minister K K Shylaja also had to face the ire of activists of the Yuva Morcha, the party's youth wing at Kannur, who showed black flags, they said. The protesters also took out a protest march in the state capital. In Kasaragod, they blocked traffic on the national highway.

    12:53 (IST)02 Jan 2019
    Five BJP Mahila Morcha members protesting against two women entering Sabarimala today
    12:49 (IST)02 Jan 2019
    Protest march in Kochi against women entry to Sabarimala

    People are protesting against women entry to Sabarimala in Kochi.

    (Photo: Nithin)
    11:55 (IST)02 Jan 2019
    Sabarimala sanctum reopens after rituals

    The Sabarimala sanctum has reopened for pilgrims after purification rituals.

    11:38 (IST)02 Jan 2019
    Women who were stopped from entering Sabarimala temple

    Despite support from the Kerala administration, several women have failed to reach the hill shrine, deterred by protests fueled by the BJP and several Hindu fringe groups against the apex court verdict. Read More

    11:35 (IST)02 Jan 2019
    It's our responsibility to give protection to those who come to temple: Kerala DGP
    11:02 (IST)02 Jan 2019
    It's confirmed that the sanctum sanctorum is closed for purification rituals

    It is confirmed now that the sanctum sanctorum is closed for purification rituals. It's common in situations when blood is split or a baby urinates or stray animals enter the inner sanctum or women of menstrual age enter.

    10:50 (IST)02 Jan 2019
    Watch: Two women enter Sabarimala today
    10:45 (IST)02 Jan 2019
    Sanctum sanctorum of Sabarimala temple is closed now

    The sanctum sanctorum of the Sabarimala temple has since been closed. There are unconfirmed reports that purification rituals are being performed.

    10:34 (IST)02 Jan 2019
    Temple priests are checking CCTV footage

    Meanwhile, hectic talks are in progress at Sabarimala between the priest family and officials of the Travancore Devaswom Board. They are checking CCTV footage to verify the claim of the two women. They were accorded special treatment and given entry through a VIP gate is likely to fuel protests. The men accompanying them also shot the videos on cellphone in a place where filming is strictly prohibited.

    10:27 (IST)02 Jan 2019
    CM Vijayan confirms women entry to Sabarimala

    Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan confirmed that the women went inside the sanctum sanctorum. "There were hurdles for women to climb and enter Sabarimala temple. If they have entered the temple today, there must not have been any hurdles. It is true that they have entered. Police had been given instructions to provide protection to any woman who wants to climb, Vijayan said. 

    10:26 (IST)02 Jan 2019
    Sabarimala LIVE updates: Tight security at Kanakadurga’s house

    The two women, in their 40s, are believed to have got darshan at 3: 45 am with the help of police in mufti and they had returned to Pamba after entering the temple as soon as possible. Tight security arrangement has been made at Kanakadurga’s house, fearing protests. Her family has also been shifted to a safe location.

    10:24 (IST)02 Jan 2019
    Women used a side entrance, used by VIPs and media to enter Sabarimala temple

    According to the visuals, the women have not climbed the sacred 18 steps, used by pilgrims who take the 41-day vow and carry the sacred offering of 'irumudikettu'. They have used a side entrance, used by VIPs and the media, which gets them directly in front of the sopanam and into the sanctum of the temple.Police officials at the base camp of Pampa said they had no clue where the two women are at the moment.

    10:23 (IST)02 Jan 2019
    The women started their climb around midnight

    The women, Bindu and Kanakadurga, started their climb around midnight and reached inside the sanctum sanctorum early morning at 3:45 am. These are the same women who had attempted to climb on December 23rd.

    10:09 (IST)02 Jan 2019

    Welcome to our Live blog. Two women reportedly in their 40s allegedly entered the shrine Wednesday. A recording of their entry shows they have used a side entrance, used by VIPs and the media, which gets them directly in front of the sopanam and into the sanctum of the temple. Follow Live updates

    Women in the age group of 10-50 years are traditionally barred from entering the Sabarimala temple. But the Supreme Court, through its September 28 landmark verdict, lifted the curb and permitted women of all age groups to offer prayers at the temple. Massive protests rocked Kerala after the Supreme Court verdict. Over a dozen women were stopped by the protesters when they made their way to the shrine. Since the temple first opened after the SC’s judgment, violent protests, a state-wide strike and prohibitory orders have dominated Kerala.

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