Sabarimala: Kerala govt hints at RSS, BJP hand in Trupti Desai's arrival

The minister alleged the move was to create trouble during a peaceful pilgrim season

Trupti Desai sabarimala (File) A collage of Trupti Desai and the Sabarimala shrine

A minister in the Pinarayi Vijayan government has alleged that the announcement by women's rights activist Trupti Desai to visit the Sabarimala temple on Tuesday was a "conspiracy", alluding to possible RSS and BJP involvement.

The Kerala government had recently announced that it would not provide any protection to 'activists' intending to visit Sabarimala after the Supreme Court referred the issue of women's entry to the shrine to a larger bench.

Desai arrived in Kochi early on Tuesday morning and stated her determination to visit Sabarimala, irrespective of whether she was provided security. However, rightwing activists immediately protested against Desai's visit and she and her supporters were taken to the Ernakulam Police Commissionerate soon after their arrival at the airport.

Desai was told by police officials that the "legal advice received by the Kerala government is against allowing women of child-bearing age to enter the temple". One member of the group with Desai, Bindu Ammini, who had entered the Sabarimala temple last year, was sprayed with chilli powder on her face by an activist of a Hindu group. Hindu Helpline leader Srinath Padmanabhan was arrested by police in Kochi.

Responding to news of Desai's latest visit, Kerala Devaswom Board Minister Kadakampilly Surendran said he "suspected a conspiracy by some vested interests behind the activists' move" to visit Sabarimala. "The government suspects a conspiracy behind Trupti Desai's decision to go to Sabarimala. She has come from Pune, a stronghold of the RSS and the BJP," Surendran told reporters in Thalassery.

The minister alleged that the move was to create trouble during a peaceful pilgrim season in Sabarimala.

Interestingly, Desai had arrived in Kochi in November 2018 intending to visit Sabarimala. Then, rightwing activists had prevented her from leaving the airport, following which Desai was asked to return by authorities.

(With inputs from onmanorama, PTI)