Kerala: Days after two women of menstruating age entered the famous Sabarimala Temple on January 2 and created a furore in the whole state, a 36-year-old woman has claimed that she has been to the hill-top shrine and offered prayers to Lord Ayyappa.
The woman, Manju, a native of Chathannoor, put up a Facebook post saying she prayed in front of the deity on Tuesday. She claimed that none of the devotees present protested. “I started the trip from Thrissur and visited the shrine on January 8. I spent almost two hours at the Sannidhanam (main temple complex). I also sought help from the Akhila Baratha Ayyappa Seva Sangham members who happily helped me to offer prayers,” she claimed.
However, the chief minister’s office (CMO) and the police refused to confirm the woman’s claim that she visited the shrine. Prior to this incident, a Sri Lankan woman below 50 years also succeeded in entering the temple.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has been accusing the Pinarayi Vijayan-led government of playing with people’s emotions and trying to divide Hindus, has even taken the Sabarimala row to President Ram Nath Kovind. It has blamed CM Vijayan’s administration of practising “lowest form of appeasement” to divide Hindus by using “constitutional provisions as a tool”.
A BJP delegation submitted a memorandum to Kovind, seeking his urgent intervention to ensure peace in Sabarimala and the state.
The court has fixed January 22 as the date for the hearing. The BJP said there were many apex court orders yet to be implemented but the state government moved “hastily” to implement this decision.
BJP and right-wing outfits have been protesting against the state government’s decision to implement the September 28 order of the apex court. The Supreme Court lifted a ban on the entry of girls and women in the 10-50 age group.