In what could seem to be a brazen ‘vigilante attack’, the ashram of Swami Sandeepananda Giri, was attacked by unidentified miscreants in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday.
The Swami has been actively supporting the entry of women of all ages to Sabarimala temple. The assailants set ablaze two cars and a two-wheeler parked in front of the ashram at Kundamankadavu early Saturday morning.
The assailants have also placed wreath addressing ‘PK Shibu’ in front of the ashram as a mark of protest after the attack. The rescue force personnel who reached the sport on being alerted by inmates of the ashram doused the fire. However, the vehicles were burnt beyond recovery.
The nearby building has also suffered some damages with concrete layer of the wall being peeled off in the fire. Giri was out of station and there were only two inmates during the time of attack. Giri, the director of School of Bhagavad Gita, alleged that the BJP-Sangh Parivar forces, Pandalam royal family, Thazhamon tantri and Ayyappa Dharmasena were behind the attack.
“I wouldn’t be cowed down by the attack. Perhaps, they would one day set me ablaze like this way. But I would continue to say the truth,” he said to media. The Poojappura police registered a case and began an investigation into the incident.
Reacting to the attack, Sandeepananda Giri alleged that the entire responsibility for the incident was on BJP state president PS Sreedharan Pillai, Thazhamon Madom, the family of traditional head priests of Sabarimnala temple and Pandalam Royal family, also associated with the shrine.
DGP Loknath Behara said strong action would be taken to bring the accused to book. "We will not tolerate such incidents in the state," he said. However, BJP district leadership has denied any role in the attack and demanded an "unbiased" probe into the incident.
(With inputs from agencies)
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