The security in Kerala has been beefed up as Sabarimala opens its doors for women for the first time after the recent Supreme Court verdict which allowed entry into the temple to women of all age group. Following the verdict, thousands of devotees, including women devotees, took to streets to protest against the same.
The sanctum sanctorum of Lord Ayyappa shrine will be opened today at 5 pm today for the next five days for monthly rituals in the Malayalam month of Thulam. Today, as the temple gates open for the first time for women in the menstruating age, Kerala gears up for a tense day as thousands of protesters, including women from nearby villages have come to Nilackal to protest against the same. Many of these protesters have even threatened to commit suicide than allowing young women to enter.
Heavy security has been deployed near Nilackal, the basecamp of Sabarimala temple and Kerala CM has assured women devotees of security. Till now, Kerala Police has arrested 16 protestors, ten of whom were in connection with an attack on a woman yesterday. Six more people were reportedly arrested for not cooperating with the police.
As per reports, many women protesters checked vehicles to stop women from menstruating age to reach the shrine. CM Pinarayi Vijayan has even warned of stern action against those who prevent devotees from going to Sabarimala. As of now the state authorities have deployed 500 policemen including 100 women police personnel at the base camp at Nilackal.