A group of "activists" from the Kerala wing of the Shiv Sena are willing to commit suicide if any girl or woman between the age of 10 and 50 enter the Sabarimala temple, said Peringammala Aji, the leader of the group.
The Supreme Court had ruled that women cannot be kept out of the temple and that it should be open for all kinds of people of all ages, but fringe groups have taken to protesting the nation's highest court.
The temple is set to open on October 17 and if any woman tries to enter, a seven-member squad of the Shiv Sena are willing to jump into the Pamba river and drown themselves in order to preserve tradition, reports Times Now.
Aji made this announcement while saying that, "Our women activists will gather near the Pamba river on 17th and 18th October as part of a suicide group. When any young woman tries to enter Sabarimala, our activists will commit suicide." It is not clear at this time if the squad will all jump at once or if they will go one after the other as more women try to enter the temple.
Apart from the Shiv Sena making threats of suicide, several other groups and people have come out issuing threats directed at the women who attempt to come to the temple. This weekend, Kollam Thulasi, a famed Malayalam actor and member of the BJP, made a declaration that the women who enter the revered temple should be torn into two pieces from on stage in an event where BJP state president PS Sreedharan Pillai was also present.
According to Indian Express, Thulasi urged devotees to chant the Ayyappa Keerthanams (prayers to Lord Ayyappa) so loud that the eardrums of CM Vijayan should rupture. He reportedly also said that, "Also, the idiots in the Supreme Court should hear the chanting," he said.
Among the threats issued so far, former president of the Sabarimala Devaswom Board—Prayar Gopalakrishnan reportedly said, "Let the women come to Sabarimala, but when they come they can be caught by both tigers and men." It is not clear at this time if the Board actually has any tigers in its employ.
The Times Now report mentions that both the BJP and Congress have come out in support of the protests against allowing women to worship at Sabarimala, and the Communist Party of India have warned against the politicisation of this Supreme Court ruling.