One BJP worker, who was injured in clashes with police on Wednesday in Kerala has died even as the call for a statewide shutdown by the right-wing organisations began to show its effects. Chandran Unnithan had sustained injuries on Wednesday as BJP workers clashed with police after two women of menstrual age entered Sabarimala temple early in the morning.
Kerala Chief Minister had confirmed to media that two women, Bindu and Kanaka Durga had entered the temple under the protection of the state police. He had said, “It is true that women entered the temple. The government had earlier stated that it would give protection to women coming to visit the temple. The police are bound to give protection. This time, they did not face any problem in trekking to the temple.”
The development had prompted the chief priest of the temple to close the shrine to carry out the purification drive, while supporters of the BJP and Hindu organisations went on a rampage across the state.
Thursday’s strike has been called by the BJP and other Hindu organisations, opposed to the Supreme Court’s order allowing the entry of women devotees. As per initial reports, auto-rickshaws and two-wheelers were plying at the railway station in the state capital and various other places. But protesters had blocked vehicles in Kozhikode and burnt tyres in the morning.
The Congress too has said that it will observe Thursday as the black day in protest against the women entering the Sabarimala temple. Congress MP K Suresh was quoted as saying, “We’re observing ‘black day’ in Kerala today. The state government is challenging the sentiments of devotees of Sabarimala. With the sponsor of state government, these two young women entered the temple. They are activists, they are Maoists.”
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has said that the contempt plea moved by lawyers’ group against Sabarimala authorities will be heard along with review pleas already pending before it.