2 women attempt to visit Sabarimala temple, return back after police warning

Thiruvananthapuram: Two women, who attempted to trek to Sabarimala temple today, returned back to the base after police warned them about protesters.

The women, Reshma and Shalina, reached the Nilakkal base camp early in the day and started trekking. They turned back after police warned them about the protesters, who had gathered in Pamba. The duo had attempted to visit Sabarimala on earlier in the month, but failed. This time, the women were accompanied by a team of six men, but had to return owing to possible protests.

“The development comes a day after the Kerala government told the Supreme Court that 51 women of menstrual age have entered Sabarimala temple since the top court lifted the ban on the entry of this age group in September 2018. In this regard it is submitted that a total of 7,564 women between the age of 10 and 50 years had registered for darshan and as per the digitally scanned records around 51 women in this group have already visited the shrine and had darshan without any issue,” an affidavit of Kerala government given to the court stated.

The Supreme Court on Friday directed the state to provide round-the-clock security to two women who had entered Sabarimala’s Lord Aayappa shrine triggering widespread outrage and protests across the State.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice L Nageswara Rao and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari directed protection be provided to Kanaka Durga and Bindu Ammini.

The court in its order said, “Kerala to provide adequate/full security to the petitioner (Bindu Ammini and Kanaka Durga) which would be provided to the petitioners round the clock.”

“Beyond that we don’t consider it necessary to go into any of the other issues,” Chief Justice Gogoi said in the order.
The court also rejected the plea by senior counsel Indira Jaising appearing for Bindu Ammini and Kanaka Durga to tag the petition with the review petitions and other connected cases.

The Kerala government told the court that it has already provided security to the two women and added that ever since the Constitution Bench judgment of September 2018 lifted the ban on the women between age groups of 10 to 50 entering the Sabarimala temple, 51 women have already entered done so.

“You are responsible for their life and security. If you care doing without our order, continue doing it,” CJI Gogoi told senior counsel Vijay Hansaria who appeared for Kerala.