'Will not provide protection to any woman visiting Sabarimala', says Kerala minister
Pamba, Nov 15: The Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala will open on November 16 a day ahead of the commencement of the annual two-month-long pilgrimage season. Kerala Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran on Friday said that any woman visiting Sabarimala Temple won't be protected.
Dismissing reports that police would provide security to women activists who attempt to enter the Lord Ayyappa shrine, he said,'' State government won't provide protection to any woman visiting Sabarimala Temple. Activists like Trupti Desai shouldn't see Sabarimala as a place to show their strength. If she needs police protection, she should get an order from the Supreme Court.''
The state has been witnessing massive protests by Lord Ayyappa devotees opposing the entry of girls and women of menstrual age into the Sabarimala temple since the government decided to implement the apex court order.
The Supreme Court Tuesday refused to stay its verdict allowing entry of women of all age groups into the Sabarimala temple but agreed to hear in open court on January 22 a batch of review petitions in the matter.
The review petitions against the September 28 verdict were taken up 'in-chamber' by a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra.
On September 28, a five-judge constitution bench headed by then Chief Justice Dipak Misra, in its 4:1 verdict, had paved the way for the entry of women of all ages into the Sabarimala Temple saying the ban amounted to gender discrimination.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had on Thursday said the Left front government would consult legal experts to get more clarity on the apex court verdict.
He also said the government was always ready to implement the court order, whatsoever it may be.
Reacting to the verdict, Bindhu, who along with Kanakadurga had trekked the holy hills and offered prayers at the shrine, scripting history on January 2, said the positive aspect of the apex court's latest order was that it had not stayed the September 28 verdict.
"The Sangh Parivar which welcomed the Ayodhya verdict is bound to accept the SC verdict in this case also. The government and the police are also bound to help and protect those who want to visit the shrine," she had told reporters. Kanakadurga has said should like to go to Sabarimala again if there was no stay on the earlier order.
(with PTI inputs)