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Sabarimala protests updates: Congress says TDB's should file review plea instead of detailed report

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New Delhi, Oct 17: In the three days that Sabarimala has been open for the first time since the landmark Supreme Court order, no woman in the age group of 10-50 has made it to the shrine.

Two women, one activist and another a journalist, on Friday (October 19) began their ascent towards the Sabarimala Temple where the entry of women between the ages of 10-50 is prohibited. The women of the said age group have not been allowed for centuries but last month the Supreme Court scrapped the traditional practice.

Massive protests are being held at the base of the hill from where devotees begin their trek to the temple opposing the Supreme Court order. The locals are hell bent to stop women from entering the shrine saying that it is an age old practice.

Two women reach shrines entrance amid tight security (Image courtesy - ANI/Twitter)

Amid violent protests, the doors of Sabarimala temple in Kerala opened on Wednesday for the first time since the Supreme Court lifted the centuries-old ban on entry of women of menstrual age but by available indications, none from this age group made it to the famed hilltop shrine.

[Sabarimala verdict: No consensus on filing review petition]

The verdict had however received mixed responses with several thousand protesters flocking the streets of Kerala demanding an overturn in the ruling citing that it is against their traditional beliefs.

[Sabarimala: SC's verdict to be implemented, anyone who wants to go will be protected, says Kerala CM]

A meeting by The Travancore Devaswom Board, a temple body yesterday with various stakeholders including the Pandalam royal family and Ayyappa devotees failed to come to a conclusion on the matter.

Meanwhile, the Kerala Police has said that no attempts to threaten law and order, or to stop women devotees from entering the shrine will not be tolerated.

Newest First Oldest First
12:45 AM, 20 Oct
Opposition Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala has rejected TDB decision to file the affidavit in the Supreme Court. He said that the board should file a review petition instead of filing the affidavit. He accused TDB of acting on the orders of the ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist).
12:45 AM, 20 Oct
Devaswom minister Kadakampally Surendran said that he had strong suspicion that today's developments were the result of a conspiracy by the BJP and the RSS to create trouble in Sabarimala. He has welcomed the TDB decision to file a report about the situation in the Supreme Court and high court.
12:44 AM, 20 Oct
Protesters detained in Pamba
12:44 AM, 20 Oct
After the Travancore Dewasom Board(TDB) met on Friday, board president A Padmakumar said that they have decided to approach Senior lawyer Abishek Manu Singhvi as the lawyer to appear in the Supreme Court.
12:44 AM, 20 Oct
Travancore Dewasom Board decided to file urgent affidavit in Supreme Court
12:44 AM, 20 Oct
CPM leader Sitaram Yeschury says efforts are being made to disrupt social harmony. In the name of harmony, other elements are causing discord, he adds. “Those disturbing law and order will be dealt with,” says Yechury.
12:43 AM, 20 Oct
In the three days that Sabarimala has been open for the first time since the landmark Supreme Court order, no woman in the age group of 10-50 has made it to the shrine.
12:43 AM, 20 Oct
The Kerala Devaswom Board held an internal meeting at around 3 pm to discuss the strategy regarding the unprecedented resistance to the implementation of a Supreme Court order. The Travancore Devaswom Board will take a call on whether or not it will file a review petition in the Supreme Court against the September 18 order granting permission to all women to enter the shrine.
2:45 PM, 19 Oct
"People, not the devotees, who want to disrupt peace didn't allow us to enter. I want to know what was the reason. Tell me, in which way one needs to be a devotee. You tell me that first and then I will tell you if I'm a devotee or not:," says activist Rehana Fatima who was not allowed to enter shrine.
2:43 PM, 19 Oct
"Sabarimala is not a tourist spot, only devotees go there. Right now what Kerala police is doing is wrong. Had there been our govt we would've handled the situation better. We would've talked to devotees, there would've been no violence," says Congress' R Chennithala.
2:42 PM, 19 Oct
"We met the Governor and explained to him the current situation. Not only Hindus but people from all religions are going there. Everyone is worried. The woman activist (Rehana Fatima) was given a police uniform. It was wrong," says Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala.
12:54 PM, 19 Oct
As 46-year-old Mary decided to return and not complete her attempt to enter the Sabarimala temple, she said, "It is sad that this is happening in Kerala. There are so many people who go abroad from Kerala, so many who live in progressive countries but look at what is happening in our state. It is the duty of the state govt, police and media to help women who want to go to Sabarimala.", reported News 18.
12:52 PM, 19 Oct
Third women also returns.
11:00 AM, 19 Oct
Kerala IG says "We have told the female devotees about the situation, they will now be going back. So we are pulling pack. They have decided to return".
10:59 AM, 19 Oct
Journalist Kavitha Jakkal of Hyderabad based Mojo TV and woman activist Rehana Fatima are now returning from Sabarimala.
10:59 AM, 19 Oct
"There are some people like activists trying to enter. It's impossible for govt to figure out who is who. We know there are 2 activists. One is believed to be a journalist as well," says Kadakampally Surendran, State Devaswom Minister.
10:48 AM, 19 Oct
Sabarimala Head Priest Kandararu Rajeevaru says he will shut the temple if women come. He says he will shut the doors and take away the keys.
10:47 AM, 19 Oct
Reports say that the police have convinced women to return. Two women will return now.
10:47 AM, 19 Oct
Priests are also protesting outside the shrine. The women have been moved to a guest house where they are meeting the police.
10:37 AM, 19 Oct
Sabarimala Head Priest says they will stop all prayers and activities if women enter the temple. "We are with the devotees, and sentiments of the devotees can’t be taken for granted," he said.
10:31 AM, 19 Oct
If they enter the shrine, they would be the first women from the menstruating age group to visit the Sabarimala temple of Lord Ayyappa after the Supreme Court order permitting women of all age groups to enter the shrine.
10:29 AM, 19 Oct
Kerala DGP to meet the Governor K Sathasivam shortly.
10:18 AM, 19 Oct
As police attempt to negotiate the women’s entry to the temple, activist Rehana Fathima refuses to turn back. She says she undertook the 41 day fast devotees usually do and wants to enter the Sabarimala temple, reported HT.
10:05 AM, 19 Oct
The woman devotee who is on her quest to enter the Sabarimala temple, is a native of Kochi in Ernakulam district. Her Kochi residence was attacked by protestors on Friday early morning. Meanwhile, protesters continue to obstruct entry of women at the entrance of the Sabarimala temple, reported News 18.
9:37 AM, 19 Oct
The two women trekking towards Kerala's Sabarimala shrine, escorted by a team of 150 policemen in riot gear, are 200 meters away from reaching the holy temple.
9:10 AM, 19 Oct
The woman is in her late 20s and if she climbed the hills, she would be the first woman from the menstruating age group to visit the Sabarimala temple of Lord Ayyappa after the Supreme Court order permitting women of all age groups to enter the shrine.
9:10 AM, 19 Oct
Police have thrown a security ring around the woman who had requested security to go to Sabarimala Sannidhanam to carry out her professional duty.
9:09 AM, 19 Oct
Journalist Kavitha Jakkal of Hyderabad based Mojo TV and woman activist Rehana Fatima are en-route Sabarimala Temple. They are being escorted by over 100 policemen.
3:32 PM, 18 Oct
Activist Rahul Easwar, who was detained by Kerala Police on Wednesday, released a statement after he was arrested. Claiming that the 20 people arrested with him were framed, and called for peaceful protests to continue.
1:43 PM, 18 Oct
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, by way of a Facebook post, blamed the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for the outbreak of violence at the temple.

Congress President Mulapally Ramachandran on Tuesday declared that the party won't object to any woman coming to the temple but wished that this does not happen.

State BJP president P.S. Sreedharan Pillai expressed full support to the protesting believers.

On Tuesday, hundreds of devotees, including a large number of women, protesting against the Supreme Court ruling, gathered at Nilakal and started checking all vehicles bound to the temple town.

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