- Kanaka Durga, 39, entered Sabarimala earlier this month
- Her mother-in-law had assaulted her for entering the shrine
- She has now been locked out of the house by her in-laws
A 39-year-old woman who dared to visit the Ayyappa shrine at Kerala's Sabarimala in defiance of religous customs earlier this month was not allowed into her in-laws' house on Tuesday. The incident occurred nearly a week after Kanaka Durga's mother-in-law allegedly assaulted her, following which she had to be admitted to the Kozhikode Medical College.
Kanaka Durga filed a complaint with the District Violence Protection Officer after her in-laws locked her out of the house. "The complaint has been forwarded to the court, and an order is awaited," a source close to her told NDTV.
The source said that when police took Kanaka Durga back home from the hospital, they found that her husband had locked the door and left the place with his mother and two children. She is now living under police protection in a government shelter.
Kanaka Durga and another woman, 40-year-old Bindu Ammini, were the first ones of menstrual age to enter the famous hilltop shrine in decades. After their achievement, both were forced to stay in an undisclosed location on the outskirts of Kochi under state protection for fear of reprisals from right-wing activists. However, when Kanaka Durga returned home on the morning of January 15, her mother-in-law allegedly came at her with a stick and beat her until she could barely stand. "She began abusing me, saying that I had slept with many people and was a blot on the family's reputation," the government employee had told the police then.
The Supreme Court later instructed the Kerala Police to ensure that both Kanaka Durga and Bindu Ammini were provided round-the-clock security.
Sabarimala has been the subject of intense controversy since September 28 last year, when the Supreme Court junked an age-old ban on women between 10 and 50 years entering the hill shrine. While right-wing activists maintained that courts do not have jurisdiction over religious beliefs, the Kerala government vowed to uphold the verdict.
A few days ago, the Kerala government claimed that 51 women of menstrual age had entered the Ayyappa Temple under its protection. The list was later sent for revision, following media reports on age and gender discrepancies.