In what may possibly be an unprecedented move, the state machinery is going hammer and tongs in implementing the Supreme Court’s decision of allowing women of a specific age group to enter the abode of Lord Ayyappa in Sabarimala, which was until now banned for them.
The Kerala police is actively contemplating on airlifting women devotees to Sabarimala from Thiruvananthapuram or Kochi as a last resort to save them from a sea of ‘Save Sabarimala’ devotees protecting the Sabarimala Temple from desecration.
According to sources, 560 women have registered their interest to visit the temple when it opens for the 41-day Mandalam-Makaravilakku period on November 17. When the Sabarimala shrine was opened the last time after the SC’s verdict, more than 2000 people swamped its entrance out of which only 200 of them were real devotees while the remaining simply came to register their protest against the Supreme Court verdict.
Officials have confirmed that most of the women who have registered their intent to visit the shrine appear to be educated professionals. Apart from them, 3.20 lakh men have also enrolled themselves on the portal to reserve their darshan time.
The police have deployed its personnel to ensure the safe passage of the ‘devotees’ inside the shrine but due to an overwhelming presence of resolute protestors, the police is seeking entry in the temple through more practical ways. To this end, the police is considering airlifting women who have registered their interest with them to the Sabarimala shrine through Choppers.
Kerala police have sought concurrence from the Forest department to use a landing spot cleared in the 1980s for the former PM Indira Gandhi’s visit to the temple. On approval, the police will then ensure a safe passage for these alleged “devotees” from the landing spot to the temple and back.
Two petitions seeking a review on the apex court’s verdict regarding entry of women in the temple is pending with the SC. The Kerala police have stated that their stand is to refrain from using violence against the protestors but if the SC dismisses those 2 petitions, the will have no option but to use force in order to implement the SC verdict.
However, the Kerala HC has already rapped the Communist government on the knuckles, asking them to stay away from meddling in the temple affairs and letting the rituals be carried out as per traditions. The communist government in Kerala is using this opportunity to settle political scores with their ideological opponents by using the brute force of police machinery against the peaceful Sabarimala protestors. Kerala HC has already expressed its displeasure over mishandling and police excesses meted out to Sabarimala devotees.