Kerala had witnessed massive protests from devotees at various places, including Sabarimala, Nilakkal and Pamba, against permitting women of all ages to enter the shrine. (Image credit: Twitter)
An ashram of Swami Sandeepananda Giri, who supported the Supreme Court verdict of permitting women to enter Sabarimala, was attacked by unknown people at nearby Kundamonkadavu, according to the police.
The attack took place at around 2 AM and the attackers burnt two cars and a scooter. The police apparently added that the attackers also left a wreath at the ashram. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who visited the ashram, told reporters that stringent action would be taken against the accused, whoever they may be. Their aim was not to destroy the ashram, but swamiji, he said.
However, Giri said the whole responsibility of the incident was on BJP state president P S Sreedharan Pillai, Thazhamon Madom, the family of traditional head priests of Sabarimnala temple and Pandalam Royal family, also associated with the shrine.
In response, the BJP leadership has denied any role in the attack and demanded an "unbiased" probe into the incident.
Kerala had witnessed massive protests from devotees at various places, including Sabarimala, Nilakkal and Pamba, against permitting women of all ages to enter the shrine, where the deity is 'Naishtika Brahmachari' (perennial celibate), when the temple was opened for monthly poojas from October 17-22.
At least 12 women in the 'barred' age group (10-50) had tried to trek the hills to offer prayers but had to retreat following widespread protests. The shrine witnessed violent protests for six days as not a single woman was allowed to enter the temple.
The Kerala Police arrested over 1500 people as it launched a massive manhunt to nab protesters who resorted to violence to stop women of menstruating age from entering Sabarimala temple despite the Supreme Court order.
The police had issued lookout notices against 210 people and registered a case against nearly 2,000. Arrests were made in Ernakulam Rural, Tripunithura Kozhikode, Palakkad, Thrissur, Kottayam and Alappuzha
A clutch of petitions challenging the landmark order opening the doors of Kerala's Sabarimala temple to women below 50 will be heard by the Supreme Court on November 13. The 19 petitions will be heard before the temple re-opens for the pilgrim season on November 16.