Reports indicate that the incident took place when the police posted to her home for security were changing shifts.
SP Manju, the President of the Kerala Dalit Mahila Federation President, who successfully entered Sabarimala temple on January 9, 2019, has reportedly been attacked in her home by stone throwers.
Malayalam news outlets report that the stones were thrown at the Chathannur native’s house at around 10 PM on Monday evening. SP Manju had been given police protection ever since she successfully entered the hill temple.
Reports indicate that the stone-throwing occurred when police posted to her home were changing shifts. The assailants were not seen and have not yet been identified, although an investigation has been launched.
SP Manju had told the media earlier this month that she had disguised herself as an old woman and dyed her hair grey to successfully enter Sabarimala. Her decision to use makeup to disguise herself as an old woman was widely criticised by protesters who were against women’s entry into Sabarimala. These comments came despite the fact that many of the young women who had attempted the climb had been met with violent and obstructive protests there. Even some women who were above 50 years of age had also been attacked by violent protesters on the suspicion of them being below 50 years, which is what happened with 52-year-old Lalitha from Thrissur, who was gheraoed and attacked at the Sannidhanam on the suspicion of being below 50 years.
This was KP Manju’s second attempt to enter the Sabarimala temple. Manju had made an unsuccessful attempt to enter the hill shrine on October 20, 2018, when it first opened after the controversial SC ruling which allowed women of all ages to enter the temple. She had, however, been forced to return home from Pamba due to strong protests.
This is not the first time a woman below 50 who visited Sabarimala has been targeted. Kanakadurga, who entered the temple on January 2, was attacked by her mother-in-law and had to be hospitalised after the incident. She is now staying at a government centre for women in need.
Women who attempted to enter the temple, including Bindu Thankam Kalyani and Rehana Fathima, have also been targeted.