Kerala was mostly peaceful Sunday after four days of widespread violence involving BJP-RSS and ruling CPI(M) workers following the entry of two women of child-bearing age into the Sabarimala temple, with 1,869 cases being registered so far and 5,769 people arrested.
Asserting that the state government had a constitutional duty to implement the September 28 Supreme Court order allowing women of all ages into the shrine to offer prayers, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said they would not be cowed down by threats of “constitutional consequences” for Sabarimala violence.
Vijayan asked the BJP national leadership to instruct its cadre in Kerala to stop creating violence in the state.
“The state has a constitutional duty to implement the Supreme Court order. There is no violence other than the ones created by the RSS, BJP and the Sangh Parivar. And now they are threatening the state with constitutional consequences,” Vijayan said in a Facebook post.
The chief minister’s post came on a day Union minister Smriti Irani alleged that the CPI(M)-led LDF government was arresting BJP workers for raising their voice against the state.
BJP national spokesperson Narasimha Rao had warned the state government Saturday, saying it would have to face constitutional consequences.
PM Narendra Modi’s scheduled visit to Pathanamthitta district, where the shrine is located, was postponed, Hindustan Times reported. “The PM’s visit to Pathanamthitta on 6 January was postponed due to some other engagements. Though it has nothing to do with the current situation, we don’t want to aggravate the situation further,” a senior BJP functionary told HT.
Vijayan also alleged that the Sangh Parivar was trying to implement the same methods that they tried in northern India.
“Sangh Parivar was trying to implement the same methods which they have tried on northern India. It’s not going to succeed in Kerala. The state will deal with all kinds of attempts to create violence and communal riots with iron hands,” Vijayan said.
So far, 1,869 cases have been registered and 5,769 persons arrested in connection with the violence. At least 4,980 persons have been granted bail, a statement from the State Police chief Loknath Behara said.
While in Palakkad, 283 cases have been registered so far and 764 persons arrested, in Kannur district, where crude bombs were hurled at the house of Thalassery MLA A M Shamseer and BJP leader and MP V Muraleedharan, 225 cases have been booked and 394 arrested so far.
In Pathanamthitta district, where the Sabarimala temple is located, 267 cases have been registered and 677 people arrested so far.