Death threat to woman who dared to visit Sabarimala

Landlord had also asked Kalyani to vacate the house and the school where she works had asked her not to continue

Thiruvananthapuram: Just as police in Kerala heaved a sigh of relief with the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple closing for rituals on Monday night, a woman in Kozhikode has alleged that she has received a death threat for having tried to enter the shrine.

Traditionally, the temple has been out of bounds for girls and women in the 10-50 age-group on the ground of their “impurity”, but India’s Supreme Court struck down that tradition last month in a historic judgement that pushed for gender equality.

Since then, devotees of Ayyappa — the celibate deity at the temple — and various Hindu organisations have blocked all women who tried to pray at the temple.

Bindu Kalyani, a native of Chevayur in Kozhikode said on Tuesday that she had received a death threat for having attempted to visit the Sabarimala temple.

To add to her woes, her landlord had also asked her to vacate the house and the school where she works had asked her not to continue, she was quoted by local media as saying.

The landlord’s and school’s actions were apparently triggered by protesters marching to the house and school to register their anger against Kalyani.

On Tuesday, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan called for calm, stating that “Sabarimala is a place of worship; peace and tranquillity are what are required there”.

Vijayan alleged that the Sangh Parivar forces were attempting to turn Sabarimala into a battle field, and that the state government or police had no intention to stop or detain devotees.

He said the attacks on women devotees and media persons showed that the developments in Sabarimala were orchestrated attacks.

India’s apex court will consider on November 13 the writ petitions and review appeals by different parties filed against its historic verdict permitting entry of girls and women into the temple.

The date that the court is considering a review of its own ruling is significant, considering that it is three days before the Sabarimala temple opens for the main pilgrimage season on November 16.


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