The violence in Kerala that erupted after the entry of two menstruating women of the banned age into the Sabarimala Temple took a deadlier turn on Friday as bike-borne assailants hurled crude bombs at houses of Thalassery MLA and CPI(M) leader AN Shamseer among other places. Reacting to the attack, the CPI(M) leader alleged Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) hand, saying they intend to destroy the peaceful atmosphere of the state. "This was an RSS conspiracy to instigate violence in the state. They intend to create violence and destroy the peaceful atmosphere of the state," Shamseer told reporters after the attack.
The bomb was hurled when Shamseer was attending a peace meeting organised at his Thalassery constituency after the long spell of violence by right-wing groups in the state following the entry of women of the bleeding age inside the Lord Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala.
Apart from Shamseer, bombs were also hurled at the houses of CPI(M) leader and former Kannur district secretary of CPI(M) P Sasi at Thalassery and a CPI(M) activist Vishak in Kannur district.
Violent protests erupted across Kerala as soon as the news of two women sneaking into the Sabarimala temple spread. Agitated right-wing activists, including the BJP workers, rampaged through the cities and towns of the state blocking highways and forcing the closure of the shops and markets.
Media personnel, including women, who were covering the protests and incidents of hooliganism were allegedly harassed and attacked by the BJP and Yuva Morcha activists. Police were prompted to use stun grenades, tear gas shells and water cannons to disperse the protesters.
Announcing the dawn-to-dusk shutdown on behalf of the Sabarimala Karma Samiti, its leader KP Sasikala said the government has betrayed devotees. The Samiti is spearheading protests against the Supreme Court's September 28 verdict allowing women of all age groups to offer prayers at the hill shrine in Kerala.
Their demands include the resignation of Pinarayi Vijayan as the chief minister of the state. This is the seventh shutdown called by right-wing groups in a span of just three months over the issue of women's entry into the holy shrine of Lord Ayyappa at Sabarimala.