'Sabarimala protests were against police high-handedness, not
women's entry issue'
Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 30 (PTI): Former Union minister
and lone BJP MLA in the Kerala assembly, O Rajagopal, Friday
said that the Sabarimala protests were against the police
high-handedness and not against the women's entry issue.
"The protests at Sabarimala were not over the women's
entry issue," he told a TV channel, adding that they were
against the lack of basic amenities at the hill-top shrine.
BJP state chief P S Sreedharan Pillai had earlier
declared that they were halting the protests at Sabarimala
and taking it to the front of the secretariat here, a move
which the Opposition Congress has dubbed as a compromise
between the ruling LDF and the right-wing parties.
"The agitation in front of the secretariat is BJP's
political protest. Shifting to the secretariat was part of
intensifying the protest and not compromising,"Rajagopal said.
Pillai had expressed similar views and said that the
Sabarimala protests was against the CPI(M)-led LDF government
and not against the Supreme Court decision, allowing entry of
women of all age groups into the shrine.
Meanwhile, BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP V Muraleedharan
said that no BJP leader or worker would agree to compromise
with the CPI(M) on the protest.
"None of the BJP leaders and workers, who have
self-respect, will agree to compromise the Sabarimala
protest," he said.
However, it was learnt that the state RSS unit was also
unhappy with the BJP leadership over the manner in which the
arrest of party's state general secretary K Surendran was
Pillai had earlier faced flak from within his party over
the lack of vigor in protests against the arrest of Surendran
from the base camp at Nilackal.
The Supreme Court will hear in open court on January 22 a
batch of review petitions on the matter.
The top court had on September 28 paved the way for entry
of women of all ages into the Sabarimala temple, saying that
the ban on entry of menstrual age women amounted to gender
Surendran was once again denied bail in a case related to
the attack on a 52-year-old woman who came to visit the shrine
during the Chithira Atta festival earlier this month.
Meanwhile, the Pathanamthitta distirct administration,
under which Sabarimala falls, has extended the prohibitory
orders till December 4.
The shrine has been under a heavy security blanket since
November 17, the day when it was opened for the annual two
month-long pilgrimage season.
Police had said that the restriction was in the backdrop
state government's decision to implement the September 28 apex
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)