Highlighting that there are many RSS and BJP workers among the thousands arrested in the ongoing protests at Sabarimala Temple in Kerala, Amit Shah said on Saturday that his party is 'standing like a rock' with devotees.
Scores of devotees have encircled the ancient shrine to prevent entry of women of menstruating age here. This despite a Supreme Court order that paved the way for entry of women aged between 10 and 50. While the state government has said that it has to abide by the apex court, protestors have said that their beliefs and traditions cannot be compromised with. Among them are BJP and RSS workers as well. "Today in Kerala, there is a struggle going on between religious beliefs and the state government's cruelty," said Shah at an event in Kannur. "More than 2,000 activists and workers from BJP, RSS and other organisations have been arrested. Left government be warned, BJP is standing like a rock with devotees."
While protestors have claimed they are peaceful, the BJP party chief hinted that there are elements which are trying to give the protests here a different image. "In the name of court judgement, those who want to incite violence, let me tell you that there are many temples which run on different rules and norms," he said.
While Shah trained his guns at the state government, the ruling CPI-M here has said that it has done all to ensure police protection is provided to all devotees and that it is BJP that is trying to gain political mileage by inciting violence.
CM Pinarayi Vijayan said on Tuesday that RSS workers had turned the shrine into a war zone. "Kerala government made it clear in front of the Supreme Court that it will implement the verdict. The government arranged all facilities. Neither the government nor the police tried to block the devotees. The RSS tried to make Sabarimala Temple a war zone," he said, adding though that there was no failure of law and order here.
The sanctum sanctorum of the famed temple was closed around 10 PM on Monday – the day that saw five women making an unsuccessful effort to pray at the hill temple, where tradition had barred women aged between 10 and 50. The entire state had been on the boil since the temple opened its doors for the first time since the September 28 verdict of SC permitting women of menstruating age - considered 'impure' according to local beliefs - to enter the shrine.
Te revered Hindu temple is set to open again on November 17.