Woman who entered Sabarimala alleges attack by mother-in-law, undergoes treatment

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New Delhi | Published: January 15, 2019 4:19:16 PM

Kanaka Durga, 39, had scripted history by entering the controversial Sabarimala temple in Kerala two weeks ago. Durga, who is a government employee, took a huge risk after violent protests that lasted many months. The protesters managed to block all women who tried entering the temple, but Kanaka Durga along with 40-year-old Bindu Ammini defied all odds to take the historic journey with a heavy police escort, without any harm.

The year 2019 began on a stormy note with 39-year-old Kanaka Durga scripting history by entering the controversial Sabarimala temple in Kerala, breaking the decades-old ban on the entry of women of menstrual age – between 10 and 50 – into the sanctum sanctorum.

The day was January 2, when Durga, who is a government employee, took a huge risk after violent protests that lasted many months. The protesters managed to block all women who tried entering the temple, but Kanaka Durga along with 40-year-old Bindu Ammini defied all odds to take the historic journey with a heavy police escort, without any harm.

On the morning of Tuesday, Durga finally went to her home after two weeks of hiding as right-wing protesters made threats against her. This time she was attacked but not by the right-wing protesters. Durga says that her mother-in-law attacked her with a wooden stick and beat her till she collapsed and then threw her out.

When she entered home, her mother-in-law asked her who was at the door and came at her when Kanaka replied it was her. “She came from the kitchen, took a wooden stick and started beating me,” Durga was quoted as saying. She adds that her mother-in-law also accused her of sleeping with “many people” and neither her mother-in-law and husband wanted Durga to stay at the house.

At present, the 39-year-old is undergoing treatment for head wounds in the hospital where she narrated her ordeal and said that they beat her “10-12 times” and hit her her head as well.

“I couldn’t even stand properly after being hit; still they dragged me out and shut the door,” she says.

A case has been registered against her mother-in-law. Both Kanaka Durga and Bindu Ammini are are the first women below the age of 50 to enter the hilltop shrine post decades of the ban.

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For the past two weeks, the two women were staying in an undisclosed location under the state protection.

The Sabarimala temple verdict on September 28 by the Supreme Court has been heavily politicised as religion and constitution see themselves in a quagmire. The court order has not been taken positively by the devotees who believe that women should not be allowed near the temple’s deity – Lord Ayyappa.

After the two women’s visit, Kerala saw widespread protests as well as a day-long strike led by right-wing groups and in some parts of the state by members of political parties – the BJP and the Congress.

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