Thiruvananthapuram: The BJP on Sunday said that it will continue to stand by devotees opposed to the entry of women in 10-50 age group to the Sabarimala temple, party's Kerala unit president PS Sreedharan Pillai said on Sunday.
Pillai also announced that his party would hold a series of protests to ensure that Sabarimala temple`s uniqueness - keeping away women in the age group of 10 to 50 - is kept intact.
''Over 4,000 innocent people were illegally arrested or detained. So, the BJP will observe a one-day fast in front of the DGP office in Trivandrum and stage a march to the SP office in other districts on October 30. November 8 onwards, there will be six-days Rath Yatra from Kasargood to Sabarimala,'' Pillai said.
The remarks from Kerala BJP president came as the authorities confirmed arresting nearly 4,000 protesters who prevented women from entering the Sabarimala temple since October 26.
At least 517 cases have been registered at various police stations across Kerala, the authorities said on Sunday.
The revered Sabarimala temple was closed after five days of monthly puja on October 22.
It will now open at 5 PM on November 5 and close the next day at 10 PM.
"We will be in full strength and will support the devotees` wishes when the temple opens on the 5th," Pillai said.
Pillai also slammed the Kerala government for the atrocities inflicted by it on the peaceful Sabarimala protesters.
BJP has decided to continue agitation by supporting devotees of Sabarimala with various types of programmes on October 30 against atrocities inflicted by the state government. The ruling party leaders are all atheists and have decided to destroy Sabarimala,'' Pillai said.
BJP has decided to continue agitation by supporting devotees of #Sabarimala with various types of programmes on 30th Oct, against atrocities inflicted by state govt. Ruling party leaders are all atheist & have decided to destroy Sabarimala: BJP Kerala chief PS Sreedharan Pillai pic.twitter.com/aqa4P09HQF
— ANI (@ANI) October 28, 2018
"The situation in Kerala is worse than the Emergency days," he said.
"People are being arrested at midnight just because they protested in a peaceful manner, fighting for the rights of the devotees of Lord Ayyappa," he added.
An estimated 3,345 protesters who prevented women from entering the Sabarimala temple have been arrested since October 26 while 517 cases have been registered at various police stations across the state.
Pillai said that across the country there were many temples dedicated to Lord Ayyappa but the temple at Sabarimala was unique.
During his day-long visit to Kerala, BJP chief Amit Shah too extended full support to those opposing the SC verdict on Sabarimala and also condemned the arrest of over 2,000 devotees, including RSS and Sangh Parivar activists in connection with the protests.
''In Sabarimala, the nation has seen a fight between dharma, belief and bhakti on the one side and an oppressive Kerala government on the other. The LDF is using its power to suppress belief of Ayyappa devotees. But Vijayan, I want to remind you that BJP stands firmly with the Ayyappa devotees,'' he tweeted.
''There is an emergency like situation in Kerala. The women of Kerala themselves support the age-old tradition of restricted entry to the Sabarimala, but CM Vijayan, instead of providing relief to the flood-hit people, is spending all his energy in tackling peaceful devotees of Lord Ayyappa,'' Shah said.