Rallies, marches and roadblocks marked protests by Hindu outfits Wednesday against the LDF-led Kerala government’s decision to implement the Supreme Court verdict on Sabarimala, even as the state government maintained that it would not go for a review. Devotees, including a large number of women, squatted on the road at different places, chanting “Protect the rituals of Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala”. A minor scuffle was also reported between the protestors and the general public at Aluva and Muuvatupuzha in Ernakulam district.
A group of BJP activists showed black flags to Kerala Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran at Kazhakootam near here, leading to tension for some time. A protest rally by BJP-led NDA began from Pandalam in Pathanamthitta district and would end in front of the Secretariat here with a demonstration on October 15.
BJP state president P S Sreedharan Pillai and Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS) president Thushar Vellapally led the march. Pillai said the party was with the believers and alleged the government was trying to destroy the hill shrine. In the state capital, a huge rally was taken out under the auspices of the Nair Service Society (NSS).
Meanwhile, a two-day meeting of Travancore Devaswom Board that manages the Lord Ayyappa temple would take stock of preparations for the upcoming Mandala-Makkaravillaku festival, beginning November 17. Surendran said the government would ensure necessary facilities for devotees visiting Sabarimala. He said there was no point in launching agitations against the government as it was only implementing the apex court order on the matter.
The Congress, BJP and various Hindu organisations have launched protests demanding the state government file a review petition against the verdict. But, the Left government has maintained that it would not go in for a review of the ruling. The apex court in its verdict on September 28 had allowed entry of women of all ages into the Sabarimala shrine.