Activist Bindu Ammini to quit Kerala for ‘peace of mind and security’

Speaking to TNIE, Bindu said she has been left with no option but to go into exile.
Bindu Ammini
Bindu Ammini

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Bindu Ammini, one of the two women to first enter Sabarimala after the Supreme Court verdict allowing women of all ages to enter the hill shrine, is bidding adieu to a Kerala that has become unlivable for her. Speaking to TNIE, Bindu said she has been left with no option but to go into exile. “I have been provided 24x7 police protection following a Supreme Court directive. But I was subjected to brutal attacks in the presence of officers,” she said. 

Bindu and Kanakadurga had entered the hill shrine in 2019 January under heavy police protection, amid a protest by the Sabarimala Karma Samithi. “I feel that I will find peace of mind and security, that I now miss in Kerala, in Uttar Pradesh or New Delhi. I have been to northern India many times. Not once have I been attacked,” she said.

Incidentally, Bindu was the first state secretary of the CPI-ML (Kanu Sanyal) in Kerala -- and perhaps in India. She even met Sanyal, one of the main leaders of Naxalbari in 2019 in West Bengal when she was the central committee member of the party. 

“I will leave for New Delhi in four days’ time, before deciding where to settle,” she said. “There is no going back on my decision. CPM workers and the DYFI did provide me some protection immediately after my Sabarimala entry. They later withdrew the same,” she said. According to Bindu, it was her Dalit background that left her exposed to the atrocities. “Two other women had entered the temple.

But, I was the only one targeted. In January 2020, I was attacked in front of the Ernakulum police commissioner’s office. Attempts were also made to run me over with an auto rickshaw. At Kozhikode beach, I was attacked in full public view. In all these instances, the police personnel were mere spectators. When a fake video was circulated, the case was handed over to local police instead of involving the cyber wing,” Bindu said.

“I tried to meet Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in 2020 in Thiruvananthapuram. But his office prevented me from doing so. How then could I convey my situation?” Bindu said. She was awarded round-the-clock police protection after leading counsel Indira Jaising raised her safety issues before the Supreme Court.

Bindu, a resident of Poyilkavu, Kozhikode, was a guest lecturer with Kozhikode Government Law College from June 2022 to March 2023. She had previously worked as assistant professor at the School of Legal Studies at Kannur University’s Thalassery campus. Her husband, Hariharan, runs a small publishing house and will stay back. Their daughter Olga -- named after a German-Brazilian communist leader -- can decide whether to move with Bindu once her studies are over.

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