THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Bharatiya Janata Party ( BJP) Members of Parliament (MP) met Kerala Governor P Sathasivam for seeking his intervention and to take appropriate action to restore peace and tranquillity in Sabarimala temple.
The Four-member delegation has submitted a complaint to the Governor regarding the difficulties faced by the devotees and lack of facilities in temple shrine.
On November 27, BJP president Amit Shah had appointed the four-member delegation to take firsthand account of ongoing agitation outside Sabarimala temple.
“A delegation has been appointed by Honourable National President Amit Shah to take the firsthand account of ongoing agitation of Sabarimala Shrine, to assess the atrocities being committed to Satyagrahis and indiscriminate arrests being made by police during the agitation and to meet the general public and party workers in particular,” the party had said in a statement.
As per the report, the delegation is supposed to submit the report to the Shah within 15 days.
BJP general secretary Saroj Pandey, national president of the party’s Schedule Caste morcha Vinod Sonkar, members of Parliament Pralhad Joshi and Nalin Kumar Kateel had been appointed as the members of the delegation.
On November 20, The BJP Chief Amit Shah had slammed the Pinarayi Vijayan government's handling of the situation in Sabarimala as "disappointing".
“The way Pinarayi Vijayan’s govt is handling the sensitive issue of Sabarimala is disappointing. Kerala police are treating young girls, mothers and aged inhumanly, forcing them to take the arduous pilgrimage, without even basic facilities like food, water, shelter and clean toilets”, Shah had tweeted.
The BJP chief Amit Shah also criticized the state government’s rude behaviour against devotees during this pilgrimage season.
“If several reports of flushing resting places for devotees and them having to spend nights next to pig droppings and dustbin are true, then Pinarayi Vijayan must realize that he can’t treat Ayyappa devotees like inmates of Gulag. We won't let LDF crush people's faith with impunity”, he had said.
Gulag was a system of forced labour camps established during Joseph Stalin's rule in the Soviet Union.
“If Pinarayi Vijayan thinks he can rise against people’s movement to preserve Sabarimala by arresting K Surendran, our Thrissur District President and 6 others, then he is mistaken. We stand firmly with every Ayyappa devotee, who holds the Sabarimala tradition close to his heart”, he had tweeted.
Shah's comments underlined his party's support to devotees protesting against the state government's move to implement a Supreme Court order lifting the ban on women of menstruating age from visiting the temple.
On November 21, while responding to the Amit Shah’s tweet, Kerela Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said that Bharatiya Janata Party Chief Amit Shah’s tweet on the Sabarimala protest is ‘unfounded and misleading’.
“Amit Shah’s tweet on Sabarimala issue is unfounded and misleading. The arrangements are all set in the temple and everything is going on a smooth way, even pilgrims also expressed satisfaction over the arrangement made there. It is not devotees but Sangh Parivar members who are facing problems in Sabarimala. They are intentionally creating problems. Amit Shah must have been carried away by the campaign unleashed by this element”, CM had written on his Facebook post.
On November 22, CM Vijayan had met the Governor P Sathasivam to discuss the ongoing situation at Sabarimala temple.
During the meeting, the Chief Minister had explained the current situation at the temple to the governor and also informed the control measures taken by the government.
They also had discussed the High Court observations, section 144which imposed at the Sabarimala premises, complaints raised by the union ministers, rebel’s complaints on lack of essential amenities like drinking water, toilets and restrooms at Nilackal, the base camp, and at Pampa en route to Sanidhanam.
The Kerala cops have imposed Section 144 in Nilakkal, Pamba and Sannidhanam as a precautionary measure.
The section of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), which prohibits assembly of more than four people at a place has been put in place, as the state braces for a bout of fresh protests against the entry of women into the hill shrine.
Over 15,000 personnel, including women police personnel and 860 women civil police officers have deployed to deal with the situation.
Recently, CM Pinarayi Vijayan announced that a “women wall” to safeguard the protest of devotees on Sabarimala issue.
“The renaissance organisations will form a women wall from Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram on January 1, 2019, raising the slogan 'don't turn Kerala to lunatic asylum again'”, CM had said.
The temple opened for annual pilgrimage season on November 16, as a fierce standoff continued between the state government and protesters over the entry of menstruating women to the temple, allowed by the apex court’s September 28 verdict.
On September 28, the five-judge bench headed by former Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra lifted the entry ban on women in the temple, saying the centuries-old custom at the shrine was not an essential religious practice and “the attribute of devotion to divinity cannot be subjected to the rigidity and stereotypes of gender”.
This is the third that the temple had opened after the top court lifted the restriction on women entry.
The shrine had opened on October 18, the first time after the Supreme Court's verdict, allowing women in menstruating age groups to enter the temple.
Then the temple reopened on the evening of November 5, to celebrate 'Chithira Attavisesham' the birth anniversary of Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma, the last king of Travancore.
After that, the door opened on November 16 evening for a 62-days long Mandalam Makaravilakku celebrations.