'Save Sabarimala' campaigner Rahul Easwar who was detained on Wednesday at Pamba base camp has been remanded to judicial custody for 14 days and has begun a hunger strike within his cell.
Easwar, who had campaigned heavily for protestors to obstruct women devotees who were attempting to exercise their right to pray, is lodged in Kottarakkara sub jail now, having been charged with a non-bailable offence for hindering the duties of government officials in Sabarimala. Rahul Easwar's wife Deepa Vijayan had confirmed to Republic TV on Wednesday that the matter related to him taking objection to women constables being at Pamba base camp, fearing that they may go to the temple.
He started his hunger strike at 8 am on Thursday.
At the time of writing, no woman aged 10-50 has managed to make it to the Sabarimala Temple, despite it officially opening its doors to them for the first time in centuries after the Supreme Court upheld women's right to pray at the famed temple. On Thursday morning, a woman journalist who was escorted by 20 police officers managed to make it to within 3 km of the shrine before being blocked.
On Wednesday, women and women journalists had faced attacks by mobs for attempting to make it to the temple. This came despite the Kerala Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan, assuring that all preparations had been made for devotees to visit the Temple. On Thursday, Vijayan, who had been in Dubai a day earlier, tweeted on the matter, blaming the attacks on the casteist and feudal mindset of RSS-backed attackers: