Only 2 women entered Sabarimala temple, says Kerala govt in assembly
Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 04: Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran on Monday while informing the assembly said that only two women have entered the the Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala after the Supreme Court overturned a traditional ban on the entry of women of menstruating age. The number, which was earlier stated to be 51, has now been revised to two.
The figure is mentioned as per the report submitted by the Devaswom Executive Officer. The minister added that the Supreme Court had not suggested arranging additional security for female pilgrims visiting the temple.
Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran made the revision while responding to questions raised by legislators K Muraleedharan, Eldhose P Kunnappillil, AC Balakrishnan and Anil Akkara in the Assembly on Monday.
The state had witnessed widespread violent protests for several days from January 2 after the LDF government confirmed that two women in menstrual age entered the shrine following the September 28 apex court order allowing women of all ages into the shrine.
Kanaka Duraga and Bindu, aged 44 and 42 respectively, had entered the temple in the wee hours of January 2.This was followed by a Sri Lankan woman Sasikala offering prayers at the temple. Chief Minister Pinarayi himself had confirmed the entry of the three women into the shrine.
Earlier in January, the two women had stepped into the hallowed precincts guarded by the police, more than three months after the apex court's historic judgement lifting the ban on the entry of girls and women between 10 and 50 years of age into the shrine of Ayyappa, its "eternally celibate" deity.
Following the entry of the women into the shrine, the chief priest had decided to close the sanctum sanctorum of the temple to perform the 'purification' ceremony.
On September 28 last year, a five-judge Constitution bench, headed by then Chief Justice Dipak Misra, in a 4:1 verdict paved the way for entry of women of all ages into the Sabarimala temple, saying the ban amounted to gender discrimination.