The Ashram was run by Hindu seer Sandeepananda Giri
Ernakulam: A Hindu Ashram that actively backed the entry of women into the controversial Sabarimala temple in Kerala was set ablaze by two unknown assailants early on Saturday.
The Ashram was run by Hindu seer Sandeepananda Giri,a strong supporter for a recent Supreme Court ruling in favour of admitting women into the temple, overturning age of traditions, that made Sabarimala a centre of protests from devotees. The seer was reportedly getting death threats over his stance.
The police has set up a special probe team. Incidentally, the incident was timed with BJP chief Amit Shah’s visit to Thiruvananthapuram on Friday.
By 2.30am Saturday, two cars and a scooter were parked outside the seer’s ashram on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram, reported the website of regional news channel News 18 Malayalam. The attackers also put a wreath in front of the hermitage, the report said.
The attack came under strong condemnations from various corners, right from chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who immediately reached the ashram and condemned the attack on Saturday.
“The difference in opinion and dissent should be dealt through ideology. Physical attacks happen when you can’t deal with it ideologically. Will not allow any one to take law and order in their hands. There will be strong action. Swami Sandeepananda used to propagate secular values and project how beliefs are misinterpreted and used for political gains. Those who are intolerant towards these activities attacked his ashram. The public should understand this," Vijayan said in a Facebook post.
Finance minister T M Thomas Isaac, who accompanied Vijayan, blamed Sangh Parivar for the incident and said “they were trying to create serious law and order issues".
However, Sangh Parivar and its political arm BJP refuted the charges. “We had no role in attack on Swami Sandeepananda’s ashram. The CPI(M) stage managed the attack to distract attention from Sabarimala issue," BJP leader P K Krishnadas told Hindustan Times.