In the wee hours of Wednesday, two women namely Bindu and Kanaka Durga, both in their early 40s, entered the hilltop shrine. The entry by the two women was followed by state-wide violence reportedly perpetrated by the Hindutva groups led by the BJP, and the Sabarimala Action Committee.
In instances reported from across the state, multiple CPI(M) offices were attacked, shops were forcefully shut down, and roads were blocked in various districts of the state. Journalists and commoners, who were trying to document the attacks, were also left brutally injured, according to reports.
In Guruvayur region, a police officer was left brutally injured, as he tried to bring the situation under control. In the Mavelikkara region of Alappuzha, a differently abled person was also reportedly attacked during the clashes.
The BJP state secretary P S Sreedharan Pillai has vowed to cooperate with the Sabarimala Action Committee. BJP leader MT Ramesh stated that the entry of women in the Sabarimala temple premises is an agenda of the CPI(M) and Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan.
The BJP has warned of a state-wide shutdown; exams across multiple colleges have also been cancelled following the tension. The shutdown in the state is expected to begin at 6 am in the morning, and is likely to go on until 6 in the evening.
The shutdown will be the seventh in a row following the Supreme Court verdict overturning the ban preventing women of menstrual age from visiting the Ayyappa temple on September 28 last year.
Earlier, BJP workers waved black flags at State Minister for Temple Bodies Kadakampally Surendran and Health Minister KK Shylaja in Guruvayur. BJP workers also took out a march in the state capital, and blocked a national highway in Kasaragod. Right-wing activist Rahul Easwar said his group – the Ayyappa Dharma Sena – would take "appropriate action”.
As the temple was “purified” post the entry of women in the temple, Hindu Aikya Vedi leader KP Sasikala said that the entire state requires purification.
Meanwhile, the police in the state have assured the citizens that normal life will not be disrupted; the police have also assured that fines will be imposed on those who pose a threat to life and public property.