Rahul’s U-Turn on Sabarimala; woman who entered the temple attacked at home

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Congress President Rahul Gandhi, who had earlier argued that all women should be allowed to enter the Sabarimala temple, said he cannot take an “open-and-shut” position on the issue as there is validity in the arguments of both the sides. He also mentioned that people of Kerala should be allowed to decide on the matter.

“Rahul’s departure from his initial stand worries us, but what about statements made by PM and Shah. Shah made a statement that was akin to a threat,” said RJD leader Manoj Jha.

Gandhi gave this statement while speaking at a press conference in Dubai on Saturday and said that the issue is “much more complicated” and accepted that his initial position on the Sabarimala issue was different than what it is today.

After the Supreme Court gave the historic verdict allowing the entry of women of all age groups to Sabarimala, Gandhi had stated that all women should be allowed to enter the holy shrine and added that his view on the issue was different from party’s Kerala unit.

While the party welcomed the SC verdict the party MPs from Kerala had opposed it.

The shrine was out of bounds for girls and women between 10 and 50 years of age but after the September 28 verdict women of all age groups were allowed to offer prayers at the hill shrine which is dedicated to Lord Ayyappa.

Kerala witnessed massive protests across the state after the Pinarayi Vijayan-led CPI(M) government decided to implement the Supreme Court ruling.

In another related news, Kanakadurga, one of the two women who made history by breaching traditional gender barriers to offer prayers at the Sabarimala temple in central Kerala on January 2, filed a police complaint Tuesday morning alleging assault by her husband’s family on returning home, an official said.

The complaint, registered at the Perinthalmanna Police Station in Malappuram district, by Kanakadurga says she was beaten with a stick by her mother-in-law when she returned home this morning, an official at the police station said. A case has been registered under Section 341 and Section 324 of the IPC. The official said she has named only her mother-in-law in the complaint.

Kanakadurga, who was admitted to the Government Hospital in Perinthalmanna post the assault, is fine now, the official added. Also, there some reports that her mother-in-law is also admitted to a hospital after she was assaulted by Kanakadurga but the police officer did not confirm the same.

Kanakadurga and Bindu Ammini, both in their early 40s, have been moving from one safe house to the other over the last two weeks fearing attacks by right-wing protesters ever since they offered prayers at the temple. Both women had returned to their native places earlier on Tuesday.

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