Thiruvananthapuram: With the Sabarimala temple doors set to close today after the six-day monthly pooja, there are reports that several women in the menstrual age group are planning to visit the hill shrine following which security has been beefed up at the Sabarimala and other pilgrim centres connected to it.Also Read - Kerala Unlock Update: Government Mulls To Open Institutions For Final Year Students from October 4 | Details Here
On the last day of the “darshan”, devotees opposing the entry of girls and women in the age group 10 to 50 years into the temple of “naishtika brahmachari” – the eternally celibate deity – are camping at the Sabarimala Sannidhanam temple complex to prevent them from reaching the shrine situated in a dense forest. Also Read - Kerala Lockdown Update: Sabarimala Temple Opens Virtual Booking from THIS Date; COVID Guidelines in Place
Earlier today, police officials informed media in Sannidhanam and Pamba to vacate the area as they had inputs of a targeted attack being planned on mediapersons. Also Read - Kerala Unlock: Sabarimala Shrine Reopens, 5000 Devotees To Be Allowed Daily
In these six days, the devotees have prevented 12 women of the “barred” age group from offering worship at the Lord Ayyappa temple despite the Supreme Court’s order lifting ban on entry of women of age group 10 to 50.
According to latest reports, a woman armed with the Supreme Court order — permitting the entry of all women into the shrine — has approached the police, seeking help to offer prayers at the temple as the stand-off over the entry of women of menstrual age into the famous hill shrine continued for the sixth day.
Police have tightened the security at Sannidhanam and other areas following the reported move of some women to visit the temple.
Inspector General of Police (IG) S Sreejith, a top official deputed to ensure the security of women devotees, offered prayers at the Lord Ayyappa temple Monday morning.
Visuals of the officer offering prayers with tearful eyes before the deity were telecast by the local media.
Sreejith had faced the ire of the devotees for taking activist Rehana Fathima to the temple amid tight police security.
However, the police could not take her up to the temple due to strong protests by the Ayyappa devotees.
Six women were prevented from entering the Sabarimala temple Sunday by a large number of devotees.
Amid high drama, the devotees, up in arms against the implementation of the Supreme Court order lifting the ban on the entry of women in the 10-50 age group, chanting Ayyappa mantras, blocked the six — all Telugu-speaking women — from reaching the famed shrine.
By all available indications, not a single woman in the age group of 10 to 50 years has so far reached the temple which would close Monday at the end of the monthly puja.
Kerala has been witnessing massive protests by 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 agitation intensified since the shrine was opened for the five-day monthly puja on October 17.
On September 28, a five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court, headed by then chief justice Dipak Misra, lifted the centuries-old ban on the entry of women of menstrual age into the shrine.