Will implement SC order on Sabarimala: Kerala CM Vijayan

Kottayam (Kerala): Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan Thursday said the State government would implement the Supreme Court order permitting entry of all women into the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala.

He said the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) that manages the shrine would evolve a new system to prevent stay of ‘criminals’ at Sabarimala Sannidhanam (temple complex).

“The new system will be evolved to help devotees leave the shrine immediately after offering prayers,” the chief minister said at a LDF meeting here.

He condemned activist Rahul Easwar’s statement that they had a contingency plan to force the closure of the temple by spilling blood on its premises by some devotees in case any woman in the ‘barred’ age group managed to reach it.

Without naming Easwar,he questioned the intention of “the leader of the protesters” opposing implementation of the supreme court order.

“The CPI(M) believes in gender equality and the LDF government will implement the supreme court order permitting entry of all women into the shrine,” Vijayan said.

He alleged that the Congress and RSS were leading agitations against the constitution bench of the supreme court.

Meanwhile, BJP alleged that efforts were made to violate the temple customs by facilitating darshan of women having Maoist links at the temple when it was opened for the monthly pooja last week. BJP national executive committee member B Radhakrishna Menon said a plea would be filed in the supreme court seeking a probe by the national investigation agency into the “assistance provided by police and TDB for facilitating entry of people with maoist background” at the temple.

In a related development, a meeting of Tanthris (priests) held at Kochi accused the chief minister of making statements humiliating temple priests in the State.

They also condemned his reported remarks against the chief priest of Sabarimala.