It was on January 2, two women – Bindu and Kanaka Durga – of menstruating age, made history by entering the historic Sabarimala temple in Kerala, first time after the Supreme Court ordered that women between 10 and 50 years can enter the hill shrine. Today, on February 5, a village court in Malappuram directed that Kanaka Durga, who had trekked the Sabarimala hills should be allowed to stay in her husband’s home.
Earlier, the 39-year-old was faced stiff opposition from her husband and other relatives for offering prayers at the Sabarimala hill shrine and allegedly thrown out by her in-laws.
An interim order was issued by the Gram Nyayalayas or village court on a petition filed by Kanaka Durga, an employee of the Kerala Civil Supplies Corporation, under the Domestic Violence Act stating that she had the right to stay at her husband’s home, the PTI said. Gram Nyayalayas are presided over by a Nyayadhikari, who have the same powers of a Judicial Magistrate of First Class.
The case has been posted to March 11 for further hearing.
After offered prayers at the Ayyappa temple, both Bindu and Kanaka Durga were forced to stay in an undisclosed location on the outskirts of Kochi under state protection for fear of reprisals from right-wing activists.
However, when Kanaka Durga returned home on the morning of January 15, her mother-in-law allegedly came at her with a stick and beat her until she could barely stand.
Kanaka Durga had filed a complaint with the District Violence Protection Officer after her in-laws locked her out of the house last month. She is currently living under police protection in a government shelter.
The Supreme Court later instructed the Kerala Police to ensure that both Kanaka Durga and Bindu Ammini were provided with round-the-clock security.