In a Facebook post, Bindu wrote that protesters had reached the gate of her house and were attempting to open the gate.

Bindu teacher who tried to enter Sabarimala faces protests outside school
news Sabarimala Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - 13:36

It seems like there will be no end to the troubles inflicted upon Bindu Thankam Kalyani, the teacher who attempted to enter Sabarimala shrine on October 22. She has been facing incessant harassment and moves to sabotage her work since her attempt to climb the hill. In the latest development, on Monday, some protestors from the Sabarimala Karma Samithi in Attappadi conducted a ‘nama japa yathra’ from a local Ayyappa temple to the Government Higher Secondary School at Agali in Palakkad, where Bindu had started working after being transferred from her old workplace in Kozhikode due to protests there.

While Bindu could not be accessed, she told Malayalam Manorama that she had informed the police that Sabarimala Karma Samithi members were distributing pamphlets against her near the school, and that she feared for her safety while working there. She also added that the police’s response was “cold”.

On Monday night, Bindu posted on her Facebook page that violent protesters had reached the gate of her house, and were attempting to kick the gate and enter to attack her.

Bindu had previously said that she was facing difficulty in carrying out her duties as a teacher due to unruly students chanting and shouting Ayyappa chants, thus disrupting her classes. However, she believes Sangh Parivar was behind this disruptive behaviour. “I don’t think the students are doing this of their own thought or volition. I think some outsiders from the Sangh Parivar have instigated them to harass and mentally abuse me.”

Students, faculty support Bindu: MP Rajesh

According to CPI(M)’s Palakkad MP MB Rajesh, “Local RSS groups, with possibly some external RSS forces behind them, are carrying out these protests. They have been standing outside the school gates, hurling abuses and raising Ayyappa chants for several days now. Now, they are protesting again, demanding her ouster from the school. But the faculty, students and PTA are behind her.”

He told TNM that it is unlikely that Bindu will be moved out of the school due to the demands by external protesters. “The students and faculty, as well as the Parent-Teacher Association of the school, are with Bindu. They feel that her attempt to climb Sabarimala was her personal business. They are only concerned with the quality of her teaching and have been happy with that thus far.” Rajesh said that this protest was not a “CPI(M) vs RSS issue”, and the CPI(M) had no plans to intervene. He added that police had been posted outside the school gate to keep the protesters from entering the school, although, as far as he knew, Bindu was not receiving any particular personal police protection.

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