Above: Right wing organizations carrying a protest march against the Sabarimala verdict (file pic)/Photo: ANI
Tense situations prevailed in and around Sabarimala Temple on Tuesday on the eve of the opening of the annual pilgrimage season, the first since the Supreme Court on Sep 28 allowed women of all ages to enter the temple.
While protestors pulled out female devotees from transport buses that had reached the base camp, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan asserted that the CPI (M) led Left government will implement the Supreme Court verdict on women into the temple. “We will not allow anyone take law and order in their hands. The government will ensure facilities to devotees to go to Sabarimala Temple and offer prayers,” he said. The state police chief Loknath Behera also said that his forces would abide by the SC order and ensure safety of women pilgrims.
Protests and counter-protests triggered by the SC verdict are getting stronger all across the state and keeping the police busy. Hindu organisations and the BJP have opposed the SC verdict allowing women of all ages to enter the temple and are carrying out protests, while the CPI (M) is bracing to counter them by using the party machinery. This development has put the police in a tight spot as they fear the protests could evolve into street brawls, said sources.
TENSIONS MOUNTS AS TALKS FAIL
With various religious organizations associated with the Sabarimala temple insisting that a decision to file a revision petition be filed in the Supreme Court be announced today itself, the talks aimed at breaking the impasse fell through.
The government appointed Travancore Devaswom Board which runs all the temples in Kerala convened the talks with members of the erstwhile royal family of Pandalam, family members of the ‘Tantri’ (chief priest) and other organizations and the TDB claims it was willing to walk the extra mile to defuse the situation but the other side failed to see reason despite being told that the a decision on the course of action would be made after its meeting on Wednesday.
—India Legal Bureau