The Sabarimala temple reopened on Friday evening for the two-month long pilgrimage. The temple has reopened for the third time after the Supreme Court verdict lifting the ban on the entry of women of menstruating age in the temple came out.
A day after, the temple reopened, Hindu organisations under the umbrella of Sabarimala Karma Samithi declared a dawn to dusk bandh in Kerala against the arrest of Hindu Aikya Vedi state president, K P Sasikala’s detention early on Saturday morning.
Sasikala has been arrested by the police under section 151 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. She had come to the shrine for darshan and was carrying ‘Irumudi Kettu’, a sacrosanct offering taken by devotees to the Sabarimala shrine. She was blocked before she could enter the shrine and was taken into preventive custody at around 2 am for defying prohibitory orders.
Devotees are facing difficulties due to heavy restrictions imposed at the Sabarimala. The police did not allow anyone to stay inside and around the temple. “No one was allowed to stay at the top. Neyabishekam (ritual) was affected. It is an undeclared curfew,” said BJP leader K Sudhakaran.
The Travancore Devasom Board (TDB) is upset with the police restrictions. TDB president A Padmakumar will meet state police chief Loknath Behra regarding this. State BJP president PS Sreedharan Pillai called the arrest of Sasikala as illegal and undemocratic. He said the Sabarimala stir will be taken to neighbouring states.
‘Activist’ Trupti Desai had arrived at the Kochi airport yesterday with the intention to enter the Sabarimala temple but she got stuck at the airport for hours as protesters blocked her way and the taxi drivers refused to offer her services. Police later last night booked more than 500 people for blocking Desai, who was forced to return to Pune from Kochi airport after 14-hour impasse. Desai, after a failed attempt to enter the shrine, said that she will visit the Sabarimala temple “unannounced” in the future using “Guerilla tactics”,
Review petitions have been filed before the Supreme Court, which admitted all the review petitions but refused to put a stay on the judgment. The court will hear the petition on January 22.