Two women who entered the Sabarimala temple in Kerala told Reuters on Thursday that they have gone into hiding after receiving threats. Bindu Ammini and Kanakadurga reached the shrine on January 2 under police protection, after making a failed attempt on December 24.
The two women said that they are being threatened by protestors, but trust the government authorities to ensure their safety. The women, who spoke to Reuters from an undisclosed location on the outskirts of Kochi, said they plan to return home next week.
The women told the agency that they were not afraid while visiting the shrine. “We felt no fear. We had only one aim: we wanted to go to that shrine,” Bindu asserted.
The entry of the two women into the temple sparked protests in the state, with the Bharatiya Janata Party launching a strike. “The BJP government [at the Centre] has a duty to regulate and control their members,” Bindu said.
Kanakadurga, a civil servant, told the news agency that many people had tried to dissuade them from entering the shrine. “A lot of people tried to dissuade us and make us turn back – police officers, our friends...because they knew we were facing a lot of backlash,” she said.
“I always say that I trust the police persons, the state government of Kerala and also our democratic society of Kerala,” Bindu, a lecturer, said.
The Supreme Court had in September ruled that women of menstruating age cannot be banned from entering the temple. This set off major protests in Kerala. The BJP and the Congress have opposed the top court’s verdict, and the court has agreed to hear a review petition by several organisations on January 22.