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Entry of women into Sabarimala "daylight rape of Hindus": Ananth Kumar Hegde

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New Delhi, Jan 2: Union Minister Ananth Kumar Hegde has yet again made a highly controversial remark over the Sabarimala issue. He described the entry of into women into the Sabarimala Temple as "daylight rape of Hindus".

File photo of Ananth Kumar Hegde

Three months after the Supreme Court allowed women of all ages to worship at the Sabarimala temple in Kerala, two women entered the hilltop shrine on Wednesday after dodging eyes of angry devotees.

"Because of our CM's prejudice, rather than the leftist prejudice, it is totally creating confusion. Supreme Court has given directions. I agree with that. But since law and order comes under state subject, they have to consider if it is proper of not. How it has to be taken up, how it can be managed, without hurting the faith of the masses. But, Kerala government entirely failed. I would like to say it is totally daylight rape of Hindu people (Sic)," Hegde told news agency ANI.

Two women devotees, below the age of 50 years, entered the Sabarimala temple on early Wednesday morning. Bindu, 44, from Perinthalmanna and Kanaka Durga, 42, from Kannur, began their climb towards the abode of Lord Ayyappa at midnight and reached the shrine only after 3.45 am on Wednesday.

The shrine was shut down for "purification rituals".

Hegde is not new to controversies. He had in 2017 said that his party, the ruling BJP, will "soon change the Constitution," which mentions the word "secular." He was attacking what he called a "new fad where people project themselves as secular."

Kerala has been on the edge since the Supreme Court, on September 28, permitted women in the age group of 10-50 to offer prayers at the shrine. Many women have previously attempted to enter the Sabarimala but were forced to give in to the frenzied protests by devotees and right wing outfits.

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