Bindhu Ammini, the Kerala woman and activist who climbed Sabarimala hill shrine following the 2018 Supreme Court (SC) order, was recently threatened and abused by a man who claimed to be a Lord Ayyappa devotee.
Though the Dalit woman has filed a complaint with Kerala state police chief four days back, she states no arrest has been recorded yet in the case.
She recently released an audio clip of the man who threatened to attack her using acid.
Bindhu Ammini ascended the Sabarimala temple last January, following the SC direction that women of all ages can enter the hill shrine. As per the recent police complaint filed by Bindhu, she was threatened by a man named Dileep Venugopal on 18 November. In the audio clips of the call released by Bindhu, the man can be initially heard enquiring if she was planning to climb the temple again. When this was questioned harshly, the man started using crass words, abusing and threatening her.
In the audio clip, the man can be heard saying that he is presently in Sabarimala temple premises. He also called the pepper spray attack on her last December as a trivial attack and that if it was him, he would have badly hurt her.
According to Bindhu, following the complaint to the state police chief, a case was registered in Koyilandy police station in Kozhikode. According to police, a case has been registered under sections 354 A (Sexual harassment and punishment for sexual harassment) and 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation). Koyilandy police also told TNM that investigation is ongoing and the delay is because the police have received only the name of the person, and that he resides outside the station limits.
Meanwhile, talking to TNM, Bindhu Ammini questioned how many days the police need to find the address of a person when his phone number is provided. “The Supreme Court had ordered protection for me. I had mentioned in the complaint that provisions of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act should be invoked. But the police have not even put the Information Technology (IT) Act,” she said.
She also added that the police have not yet taken any action on the complaint she had filed earlier against morphing of her image in an obscene video.
It is not the first time the activist has been facing threats and attacks from men belonging to right wing groups who oppose women's entry to the temple. Last December, Bindhu was attacked with pepper spray by a man belonging to right wing group Hindu Helpline, while she was in Kochi accompanying 'Right to Pray' activist Trupti Desai while trying to travel to Sabarimala.
(This story was first published in The News Minute and has been republished with permission)