Sabarimala Temple: No Protection to Women Visiting Lord Ayyappa Shrine, Says Devaswom Board a Day Ahead of Temple Opening
Kerala Devaswom Board Minister K Surendran (Photo Credits: ANI)

Kochi, November 15: Ahead of Sabarimala Temple opening on Saturday, Devaswom Board issued a statement saying that no protection will be given to any women visiting the shrine and anyone who seeks protection during the visit, should get an order from the Supreme Court. Kerala Devaswom Board Minister K Surendran was quoted by ANI saying that the no woman, who attempt to enter the Lord Ayyappa shrine, will be provided protection. He said the temple is not a place for activism as the Kerala Government will not entertain publicity mongers. Sabarimala Review Plea Verdict: Supreme Court Refers Women's Entry Issue to Larger Bench.

"Activists like Trupti Desai shouldn't see Sabarimala as a place to show their strength. If she needs police protection, she should get an order from SC", Surendran said. The decision by the Devaswom Board comes a day after the Supreme Court kept the door of the shrine open to women for now. The top Court also decided to set up a larger bench to revisit its verdict from last year from a wider perspective. The shrine will open on November 16 a day ahead of the commencement of the annual two-month-long pilgrimage season.

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Dismissing reports that police would provide security to women activists, Surendran said there were “some confusion” over the latest Supreme Court order and women desirous of visiting Sabarimala should get a “court order”.

Surendran was replying to questions from reporters here in the backdrop of Thursday’s apex court decision to set up a larger bench to re-examine religious issues including those arising out of its earlier verdict that lifted a centuries-old ban on women in menstrual age visiting the Sabarimala shrine.

On Thursday, a five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had said a larger bench will re-examine several religious issues, including the entry of women into the Sabarimala temple. By a 3:2 verdict, the bench decided to keep pending the pleas seeking a review of its decision regarding the entry of women into the shrine.

The bench said restrictions on women in religious places was not restricted to Sabarimala alone and was prevalent in other religions as well. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had on Thursday said the Left front government would consult legal experts to get more clarity on the apex court verdict.