Sena threatens mass suicides if women enter Sabarimala
The Kerala unit of Shiv Sena yesterday threatened to stage mass suicides if women in the 10-50 age group are allowed to enter the Sabarimala temple.
P Aji, a senior Shiv Sena leader, told IANS here that their “suicide squads” comprising men and women above 50 are ready for the supreme sacrifice.
“Our members will be stationed at various places in and around the temple and if any woman not supposed to enter the temple is granted access, then their suicide squad members will take their lives,” Aji warned.
The Shiv Sena’s threat comes hours after gender equality activist Trupti Desai said that she was determined to visit the temple shortly.
“We want the temple tradition and culture to be protected and that’s our only demand. Hundreds of our activists will reach the temple town on October 17 and guard all entry points to the famed temple,” added Aji.
Given the aggressive posturing of the Shiv Sena members, now all eyes will be on the way the Kerala government led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan – who has announced that the state government will ensure adherence to the Supreme Court verdict – handles the situation when the temple doors open on October 18.
On September 28, the Supreme Court delivered its verdict against the age-old tradition that banned the entry of women between 10 and 50 years into the Sabarimala temple.
In a related development, police in Kollam district yesterday registered a case against actor Kollam Thulasi for his statement at a public meeting of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led NDA campaign against the court ruling.
He said: “Women coming to Sabarimala temple should be ripped in half,” and one half should be thrown to Delhi and the other half to the Office of Chief Minister Vijayan.
But sensing that his statement had crossed limits of decency, he quickly apologised.
Meanwhile activist Desai said: “We will announce a date very soon to visit the temple... There should be no attempt to stop us because we now have equal rights.”
Desai played a major role in opening up to women shrines like Mumbai’s Haji Ali.
Reacting sharply to the remarks of the activist who is also the founder of the Pune-based Bhumata Brigade, Kerala BJP president P S Sreedharan Pillai said Desai should not challenge the emotions and feelings of the devotees of the temple.
Women hold placards as they attend a protest march called by various Hindu organisations against the lifting of ban by Supreme Court that allowed entry of young women to the Sabarimala temple, in Kochi yesterday.