Controversial ‘activist’ Trupti Desai on Thursday said that women should be allowed entry into the Sabarimala temple till a seven-judge Supreme Court bench delivers the verdict on the issue.
According to the reports, Trupti Desai, who was stopped from entering Sabarimala shrine last year, and was turned back from Kochi airport, had ‘vowed’ to offer prayers at the shrine when it opens for worship this year.
“What I understand is that till the court order comes, entry is open for women and no one should protest against it. People who say that there is no discrimination at all are wrong because women of specific ages are not allowed there. I am going to offer prayers on November 16,” the Pune-based Desai said to the media after the SC verdict.
Desai urged the Kerala government to ensure that police escort women right inside the temple, near the sanctum sanctorum, as per a report in The Hindu. Welcoming the Supreme Court decision, Desai said she was planning to visit Sabarimala in the next few days and added that mere police protection by the Kerala government was insufficient to ensure that women could worship at the Ayyapa shrine in peace.
“The judges today have referred the Sabarimala case to a larger Supreme Court Bench of seven judges by saying that Sabarimala was only part of a larger issue which included the question of entry of Muslim women in mosques and Parsi women in their fire temples. While we were expecting a final decision on Sabarimala today, we are nevertheless happy that the judges have not stayed the order,” said Desai.
Last year, after the Kerala police had stopped her from entering the shrine, Trupti Desai had announced that she will visit the Sabarimala temple “unannounced” in the future using “Guerilla tactics”. Desai, the founder of the ‘Bhumata Brigade’ had faced severe protest by Hindu groups last year after she attempted to enter the shrine in an attempt to violate and desecrate the age-old customs in the Sabarimala shrine.
The Supreme Court of India led by CJI Ranjan Gogoi on Thursday did not arrive at a conclusive decision in Sabarimala review petitions and referred the case to a larger bench by a 3:2 majority.
Hearing a batch of petitions seeking review of its September 2018 judgement on the Sabarimala issue, the Supreme Court on Thursday said restrictions on women in religious places were not limited to Sabarimala alone and was prevalent in other religions as well as it referred all review pleas to a larger seven-judge bench.
CJI Gogoi said the question of whether women of all ages should be allowed into Sabarimala is part of a larger debate that includes issues like allowing Muslim and Parsi women to enter religious practice and female genital mutilation in the Dawoodi Bohra community.