"There were about 20 people, ready to make a cut on their hands and shed blood in Sabarimala, so that the temple would then have to be closed", said Ayyappa Dharma Sena president Rahul Easwar at a press conference in Thiruvananthapuram.
After being released on bail, following his arrest several days ago, Rahul addressed the media and spoke of a back-up plan to ensure the temple was closed, if women between the ages of 10 and 50 were close to making an entry. Rahul had been leading protests against the Supreme Court verdict allowing the entry of women of all ages into the temple.
"There is provision to close the temple if there is a failure in rituals. We also need a Plan B and Plan C. Not just the government, we too need it. I am saying this openly. If any one (women between the ages of 10 and 50) tried to enter the temple with the help of the police, about 20 people were ready to make a cut on their hand and shed blood. If that happens, the temple would have to be closed for three days (on account of desecration). There is no need to open it no matter who says so. If we are being provoked like that, we too have our ways. If blood or urine falls on the temple, it has to be closed. This is faith," Rahul said at the conference.
However, he added in a Facebook live video later that while there were people ready to shed blood to "save Sabarimala", he had stopped them from doing so.
Rahul Easwar also asked Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to stop being confrontational. In a press meet on Tuesday, the CM had made it clear that the government was committed to implementing the Supreme Court verdict.
"Pinarayi Vijayan should abandon his arrogance. This government has been reduced to one of non-believers and rationalists. Was a government that enjoys majority and has full police force under them able to ensure that women entered? I request Pinarayi Vijayan to stop being confrontational," Rahul said.
He also said that when the temple reopens between November 5th and November 16th, any young women who want to enter will be stopped. "I am saying this openly. We will use all Gandhian ways to stop women from entering. Devotees from Andhra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka will also reach then. The government has been defeated once, they will be defeated again," he said.