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The Kerala government has submitted to the High Court that it was willing to reserve two days during the ongoing pilgrim season exclusively for women so that devotees can offer puja at the Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala.

The submission was made when a two member bench consisting of Chief Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice Jayashankaran Nambiar were considering a writ petition filed by four women seeking police security to enter the temple. They have sought directions from the court to state government to ensure protection and reserve days to facilitate only women’s entry in the temple.

The temple is slated to remain open till December 26, followed by another month-long window till January 20, for an annual pilgrimage.

. The bench asked the government what it had done to implement the Supreme Court order that allows young women’s entry in Sabarimala. “What are the steps taken by the government to implement the order? How much time will be needed for it? What are the arrangements made for it? the court asked. To this, the State Attorney answered that the board aimed to set aside two days for women’s entry in Sabarimala.

The court directed the government to inform it within one week the arrangement it would be able to make to facilitate women’s entry. “

Many women have attempted to reach the hilltop shrine in Sabarimala since Supreme Court’s verdict on September 28, wherein, the apex court allowed the entry of women between the age group of 10-50 to enter the shrine. Protestors have however blocked the entry of women and instead, urged the state government to take legal steps to revert the Supreme Court’s verdict.

–India Legal Bureau

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