Nilakkal, October 17: Kerala remained on the edge as Sabarimala temple opens its door for all women today for the first time following the historic Supreme Court verdict. Heavy security deployment was seen in Nilakkal as hundreds of protesters opposing the apex court's verdict are likley to block women's entry into Sabarimala temple. Catch live updates on women's entry into Sabarimala temple in Kerala here.
In Nilakkal, the police on Wednesday morning used force to disperse devotees opposing the entry of girls and women of menstrual age into Sabarimala temple. Acting tough, the police, deployed in large numbers in Nilackal, some 20 kms away from the Sabarimala hilltop, also removed a makeshift shelter erected by a protesting group Sabarimala Achara Samrakshana Samiti. The police initiated action when protesters tried to block the buses from the key entry point to the temple. Why Sabarimala Didn’t Allow Women into The Shrine in Kerala; All About The History of The Ayyappan Temple.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday vowed to protect the rights of all devotees visiting Sabarimala temple, accusing the BJP and Congress of trying to destroy the state's secular fabric by politicising the issue. Protesters, who had gathered at Nilakal, about 20 km from the foothills of the temple, have been removed. Pathnamthitta district police SP said that they will not allow any protests at Nilakkal.
A Padmakumar, president of Travancore Devasom Board (TDB), the custodian of Sabarimala temple, said that there are no facilities for women devotees, adding that anybody who comes to pray will be allowed inside. On Tuesday, he met the Pandalam royal family, representatives of the Sabarimala Tantri family and other Hindu organisations to see how best the controversy can be resolved but the deadlock continued.
On September 28, a five-judge bench of the top court headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, allowed women of all ages to enter the Sabarimala temple saying that “no physiological and biological factor can be given legitimacy if it doesn’t pass the test of conditionality”. A section of devotees have been protesting the ruling.