Thiruvananthapuram: A 46-year-old Sri Lankan woman claimed that she was not allowed to go beyond the holy 18 steps of the Sabarimala temple on late Thursday. “I went up to the holy steps, but I was not allowed to go further. I had a medical certificate also,”ANI quoted the woman as saying. However, some reports claim that the woman finished her ‘darshan’ around 9:30 PM on Thursday night. Kerala police had reportedly confirmed that the woman had entered the temple through the 18 steps, also known as Pathinettampadi, and offered her prayers.
The woman identified as Sasikala is the daughter of Asok Kumaran. She entered the sanctum of the temple without any hindrance and reached Pampa base camp safely by 11 PM, claimed a report. Officers in plainclothes offered security to Sasikala and her family stated a senior police officer. She had reportedly informed the police that she had reached her menopause and also presented a medical certificate.
Sasikala and her family had booked the darshan in advance. They used the electronic queue system devised by the police to gain access to the temple. Moreover, Sasikala had allegedly sent her age-related records in advance. Her date of birth as mentioned in her Sri Lankan passport is December 3, 1972.
Meanwhile, police guarded the damaged Kerala Cooperative Employees Union Office due to a hartal called by right-wing Hindu outfit in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday.
On Wednesday, workers of the Sabarimala Karma Samathi (SKS), the right-wing Hindu fringe group and the Antarrashtriya Hindu Parishad (AHP), protested against the entry of two women of menstruating age into the temple. The women – Bindu and Kanakdurga – entered the temple on January 2 resulting in large-scale protest across Kerala.
The agitators threw crude bombs and stones on police and public. Public property worth crores of rupees were destroyed and many people sustained injuries. In Thrissur, three BJP activists were stabbed during a scuffle with workers of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), the political wing of Popular Front of India, a militant Islamic outfit, police said. The incident occurred when saffron party workers attempted to force a restaurant to down the shutters.
(With Agency inputs)