With over 2,000 arrested in Kerala in a crackdown on protesters who prevented women from entering the Sabarimala temple, BJP chief Amit Shah today said the Left government in the state was misusing the issue to target BJP and RSS workers.
"Today in Kerala a struggle is going on between religious beliefs and state government's cruelty. The Left government in Kerala has misused the Sabarimala issue. They have used it to arrest workers and supporters of the BJP and other political parties. They have jailed thousands of party workers," he said while addressing a rally at Kannur in Kerala after inaugurating a party office in the city.
Voicing his support for those arrested, he said, "We want to assure the people of Kerala that the BJP will stand like a mountain in support of your sentiment. We will always be there for the people of Kerala and the devotees of Lord Ayappa."
"The deity at Sabarimala is a Brahmachari (celibate) and therefore women of a certain age aren't allowed. There are many temples in India which are exclusively for women and men aren't allowed. No man tries to enter," he said.
Across the state, 2,061 people have been arrested after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday chaired a high-level meeting with police officials and ordered a crackdown on those defying the Supreme Court order on the entry of women in the Sabarimala temple. A total of 452 cases have been registered against 2,300 people.
The Supreme Court had on September 28 overturned a centuries-old practice that barred women of menstrual age (10-50 years) from entering the hill temple, where a celibate deity Lord Ayyappa is worshipped.