Sabarimala row: Hindu groups call for 12-hour shutdown, Trupti Desai returns to Mumbai | 10 points
Trupti Desai, chief of Bhumata brigade -- a Pune-based social activist organisation returned to Mumbai early morning after massive protests outside Kochi airport where she was held up for more than 14 hours. She had vowed to offer prayers at the Sabarimala temple. A protest was staged against Desai and her six colleagues at the Mumbai Airport as well.
Here are the top 10 developments
- The Sabarimala temple reopened for the third time on Friday for the two-month-long pilgrimage season after the Supreme Court allowed women of menstrual age to offer prayers there.
- Hindu Aikya Vedi president KP Sasikala was taken into custody last night when she was on her way to the Sabarimala shrine. She was taken to custody from Marakkoottam as part of a precautionary measure.
- Various Hindu outfits, including Sabarimala Karma Samiti, have called for a 12-hour statewide strike from 6 am to 6 pm today over the arrest of Sasikala. The shutdown is likely to affect pilgrims although they have been exempted.
- The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has also extended support for the shutdown in Kerala. In a press release, BJP urged all the citizens to join the strike peacefully.
- Pune-based activist Trupti Desai with young six women colleagues was forced to go back from Kochi airport after 14-hour drama. Desai said her team has decided to retreat for now to avoid a confrontation, but vowed to come back to Kerala unannounced in her next attempt.
- Hundreds of protesters chanting Ayyappa hymns blocked activist Desai from coming out of the arrival terminal at the Kochi airport. Announcing her pilgrimage to the Sabarimala temple, on Wednesday, Desai had written to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan detailing her travel plans and had sought protection for her journey to Sabarimala. Earlier, Desai said she would not go back to Maharashtra without a darshan at the Sabarimala temple.
- Meanwhile, police registered a suo motto case against 250 people for staging protest outside the Kochi airport which prevented Desai and others from exiting the airport. Over 15,000 personnel, including women police personnel and 860 women civil police officers, were deployed for ensuring the security of the devotees.
- Prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC banning assembly of four or more people is in force in and around Sabarimala from midnight Thursday for a week.
- Controversial Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen targetted the women activists "eager to enter the Sabarimala shrine". "I do not understand why women activists are so eager to enter Sabarimala. Better they should enter the villages where women suffer from domestic violence, rape, sexual abuse, hate, where girls have no access to education, health care, and no freedom to take a job or get equal pay," the writer tweeted.
- The Kerala government met has said it will implement the September 28 Supreme Court order. The opposition had earlier walked out of the all-party meet calling it a 'farce'.
- The Supreme Court is slated to hear petitions seeking review of its September 28 order in January but has refused to stay it.