The Kerala police have sent back 10 women between the ages of 10 to 50 who had travelled from Andhra Pradesh to Kerala to wilfully desecrate the Sabarimala shrine. The Sabarimala temple is scheduled to open today in the evening for the Mandala Pooja festival.
#SabarimalaTemple: Police has sent back 10 women from Pamba. The women (between the age of 10 to 50) had come from Andhra Pradesh to offer prayers at the temple. The temple is schedule to open today in the evening for the Mandala Pooja festival. #Kerala pic.twitter.com/YM17JC5Ogp
— ANI (@ANI) November 16, 2019
Two days after the Supreme Court deferred the verdict on the Sabarimala issue, the holy shrine Lord Ayappa in Sabarimala opens today for the annual Mandala Pooja festival.
The Sabarimala Temple has been under siege after activists had decided to desecrate the temple. The Supreme Court recently had bundled a bunch of cases including the case of women’s entry into Sabarimala along with cases against female genital mutilation and the entry of women into Mosques and referred it to a larger 7-judge bench.
As the Sabarimala shrine opens today for the 41-day annual pilgrimage season, the Kerala government had already clarified that the shrine is no place for activism and the women devotees hoping to enter the temple will not be given police protection. In a statement on Friday, Kerala Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran said that women seeking protection to visit the shrine will have to get a court order. “This (Sabarimala shrine) is not a place for activism. This is not a place for activists like Trupti Desai to show their strength. We won’t take them in. Let them go get a court order,” he said.
Reacting to the Supreme Court verdict, controversial ‘activist’ Trupti Desai on Thursday had said that women should be allowed entry into the temple till a seven-judge Supreme Court bench delivers the verdict on the issue.
The controversial activist had also ‘vowed’ to offer prayers at the shrine when it opens for worship this year.
The entry of women of menstruating age (between the ages of 10 to 50) is disallowed in the Sabarimala temple. This tradition arises from the fact that Lord Ayyapa is a Naishtika Brahmachari.