A woman journalist in Thiruvananthapuram was allegedly attacked while covering a Sangh Parivar protest organized after two women, below 50, entered the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple on Wednesday.
Despite being abused, kicked, and threatened with dire consequences, allegedly by BJP protesters, the female cameraperson refused to give up as she battled and continued to shoot the protest in the Kerala capital.
Here's what happened.
Attacked by agitators during the Sangh Parivar protest
Shaajila Abdul Fathima, a cameraperson with Kairali TV, was assigned to get BJP leaders' reactions to the historic feat by two women of menstrual age, Bindu Ammini and Kanakadurga, who entered the Sabarimala temple.
Despite being attacked by protesters, a tearful Shaajila continued to shoot the agitation and a photo of her published in Kerala's Mathrubhumi newspaper has gone viral on the social media.
Shaajila says she is not afraid of the BJP
"I was shocked when I got that unexpected kick on my back. It was the worst experience in my professional career," Shaajila recalled as she held back her tears.
She was also injured when the protesters attacked her. However, Shaajila asserted that she wasn't afraid of BJP, adding she would continue covering BJP's protests opposing the Supreme Court verdict in the Sabarimala matter.
Shaajila being treated for back and neck injuries
"I didn't know where that kick came from. It caught me unawares and hurt my back. As I was writhing in pain, the attackers tried to snatch the camera, but I used all my strength to keep hold of it. I injured by neck in the melee," Shaajila said.
She is currently being treated in Thiruvananthapuram for her injuries.
Protests against women's entry launched across Kerala
The protest by Sangh Parivar in Thiruvananthapuram, which Shaajila covered, is one of the many agitations in the southern state opposing the entry of Bindu and Kanakadurga into the Ayyappa temple.
They both scripted history, becoming the first women below the age of 50 to offer prayers at the Sabarimala temple after the SC lifted the ban on women's entry to the hill shrine.