Moments after Republic TV’s South Bureau Chief Pooja Prasanna and her crew was attacked by a mob of over 100 men at Nilakkal en route Sabarimala, Republic TV got in touch with ministers in the Kerala government and demanded answers about the terrifying attacks on her, as well as on multiple female reporters. Of these, Health and Social Justice Minister KK Shailaja provided nothing by way of explanation and merely deflected, and Sunil Kumar, State Minister for Agriculture, chose to immediately put the blame on the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) for disrupting the law and order in Kerala ahead of the opening of Sabarimala Temple gates for all women.
"You call them protesters, but actual protestors are not like this. These are RSS people. They are trying to act as protestors. Actual protestors are trying to seek peace. They don't want to create any problems for the people. These people are misleading the protestors. They are penetrating the protestors and creating problems. Now, they are trying to make it a law and order issue,” said Cabinet Minister Sunil Kumar
On being questioned about what the state government is doing to prevent the attack on women journalists, he gave no answer on any possible action, instead choosing once again to call it the RSS' agenda to convince people that everything is not okay in the state,
“We are trying to prevent the unlawful activities of the goons from going out of hand. That is their agenda. They are trying to convince the people that things are out of hand, but it is not like that. Lathi is of RSS and not of the police,” added the CPI leader.
Later, when Republic TV tried to seek answers from the Secretary-General of the Communist Party of India, Sitaram Yechury, he said the following:
"I will first verify what has happened. Let me confirm first, what you are saying (that crew has been attacked). I have spoken to the Kerala Chief Minister and he is getting back to me."
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, who had on Tuesday stated that his government would take steps to ensure safe passage for all devotees to the Sabarimala Temple, which opens its doors to women of all ages on Wednesday, is currently in Dubai.