(Image source from: The Indian Express)
Days after the Supreme Court pronounced its verdict on allowing women into Sabarimala temple, the Kerala unit of Shiv Sena on Saturday threatened to stage mass suicides if women in 10-50 age group are permitted to enter the Sabarimala temple in Kerala.
P. Aji, a senior Shiv Sena leader, told IANS 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 (Sabarimala) temple and if any woman not supposed to enter the temple is granted get access, then their suicide squad members will take their lives," warned Aji.
The Shiv Sena's threat comes hours after gender equality activist Trupti Desai on Saturday said that she is determined to visit the temple soon.
"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 each eye will be on the manner the Kerala government led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan - who has announced that the state government will guarantee adherence to the apex court verdict - manages the situation when the temple doors unlock on October 18 for its regular monthly pujas.
On September 28, the Supreme Court in a 4:1 verdict, granted women between the age of 10 to 50 entry into Sabarimala temple, breaking temple's antique tradition of restricting menstruating women from entering its premises.
In a related development, the police in Kollam district on Saturday registered a case against Kollam Thulasi, a Malayali actor for his statement at a public meeting of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Non Democratic Alliance campaign against the apex court reigning.
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 propriety, he promptly apologized that he never meant to hurt anyone.
By Sowmya Sangam