Kerala govt failed to act despite advisory on protests at Sabarimala, suggests MHA letter

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Sabarimala, Oct 19: Amid the protests and counter-protests over entry of women in Sabarimala temple, the Kerala government is in the dock for allegedly not taking precautionary measures despite a clear directive from the Ministry of Home Affairs. According a letter issued by the MHA, the Kerala government had information about Left wing groups, among others, stoking protests at Sabarimala.
The letter, dated October 16 2018, was issued a day before the gate of the temple were opened for the devotees of Lord Ayyappa. It was sent to the Kerala chief secretaries, Director General of Police of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, asking them to maintain law and order and prevent any untoward incident.
According to the letter, civil and women rights activists Left parties “have been campaigning to in favour of women’s entry into the shrine and actively using women to do so on 17.10.2018.”
“While opposing groups/activists have threatened that they would not allow entry of women inside the shrine on that day. Hindu outfits plan to organize protest programmes on 17.10.2018 against Hon’ble Court’s order at Nilackal village in Pathanamthitta district and Erumeli village in Kottayam districts,” the letter further said.
The letter further states that Lord Ayyappa devotees, Hindu outfits and certain caste-based outfits have been organising state-wide protests against the order of the Supreme Court to allow women in Sabarimala temple. Calling for “appropriate security arrangements”, the MHA also asked the state administration to keep a “close watch on dissemination of adverse information through social media and Internet services”.
This comes after Kerala Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac took to Twitter saying that those resorting to violence were not devotees but alleged that they were BJP volunteers who have gathered in the guise of devotees.
He tweeted, “They are not devotees who are indulging violence but BJP volunteers who have gathered in the guise of devotees.There was no women devotee at the scenes of violence butonly women journalists and that too kilometres from the temple. Violence at Sabarimala is BJP’s manipulation.