File photo: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Photograph:( ANI )
Speaking to media in Trivandrum, Vijayan said, 'Conducting hartal (shutdown) in name of women's entry into Sabarimala temple is like calling hartal (shutdown) against Supreme Court order.'
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday reacted over a 12-hour dawn-to-dusk shutdown called by Hindu outfits in various parts of the state.
Speaking to media in Trivandrum, Vijayan said, "Conducting hartal (shutdown) in name of women's entry into Sabarimala temple is like calling hartal (shutdown) against Supreme Court order".
He added that "It is the government's responsibility to give protection to women. The government has fulfilled this constitutional responsibility."
Vijayan then hit out at those calling the shutdown saying that "Sangh Parivar is trying to make Sabarimala into a clash zone."
He also said that the "Violence unleashed by them will be dealt with strongly."
A 12-hour shutdown has been called by Hindu outfits today to mark protest against the entry of two women of menstruating age into the Sabarimala temple of Lord Ayyappa on Wednesday.
The demonstrators today blocked roads, vandalised vehicles and burned tyres in the morning.
BJP workers and Sabarimala Karma Samiti along with other protestors also organised a march in various cities of Kerala.
Following the shutdown today, seven police vehicles and 79 KSRTC buses have been destroyed till now, Vijayan informed media.
"Thirty-nine police personnel have also been attacked out of which most were women," Vijayan said.
Kerala CM on #SabarimalaTemple issue: It's government's responsibility to give protection to women. The government has fulfilled this constitutional responsibility. Sangh Parivar is trying to make Sabarimala into a clash zone. pic.twitter.com/W5CaVQsnu7— ANI (@ANI) January 3, 2019
The police, meanwhile, arrested two people and detained two others for attacking a Special Branch Women Police personnel on duty in the rural area of Ernakulam district last night, news agency ANI reported.
On Wednesday, two women, Bindu and Kanakdurga, both in their late 40s, entered Sabarimala temple to offer prayers following which the state witnessed a string of violent protests. Protestors pelted stones, raised slogans and hurled abuses against each other. Following the women's entry, the Lord Ayyappa temple was also shut down for an hour for ''purification" rituals.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court refused to accord urgent hearing on a contempt petition moved by a lawyers' group against Sabarimala temple authorities for closing the shrine following the women's entry into the temple.