Sabarimala temple: The Travancore Devaswom Board had said it was ready for any compromise to bring peace to the hill shrine.
Two women – a journalist and a social activist – who began their climb to the Sabarimala hill to visit the Lord Ayyappa shrine Friday morning, are now returning back midway from Sabarimala after a meeting with Kerala IG while devotees continued their protests against the Supreme Court ruling that lifted the centuries-old ban on the entry of women of all age groups. Taking a strong stand against the protests, Sabarimala Temple’s head priest Kandararu Rajeevaru announced his decision to lock the temple and hand over the keys and leave. “We have decided to lock the temple and handover the keys & leave. I stand with the devotees. I do not have any other option,” the head priest said.
Here are the top 10 developments in Sabarimala Temple row:
1) Hyderabad-based journalist Kavitha Jakkal and woman activist Rehana Fatima are now returning from Sabarimala. Kerala IG says, “We have told the female devotees about the situation, they will now be going back. So we are pulling pack. They have decided to return.”
2) Two women had began trekking to Sabarimala hill this morning. At least 100 policemen were accompanying them towards the Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala amidst protests.
3) State Devaswom (religious trusts) Minister of Kerala, Kadakampally Surendran, said, “There are some people like activists trying to enter. It’s impossible for government to figure out who is who. We know there are two activists. One is believed to be a journalist as well.”
4) He clarified that people of all the ages will be allowed to go in the temple. But at the same time, the state government would not allow it to become a place where activists can come and showcase their power. “It can’t be a place where they prove certain points of theirs,” he asserted.
5) IG S Sreejithhave said, “We had brought them ((journalist Kavitha Jakkal and woman activist Rehana Fatima) till temple premises but tantri and priest refused to open temple for them. While we were waiting, tantri informed me that if we attempt to take the women ahead they would close the temple.” Earlier, he said the police was only following the law. “Police will not create any issue in Sabarimala and we don’t want a confrontation with you devotees,” he told devotees.
6) The trek from Pamba to the temple located at a hillock generally takes around two hours. Strong protests have been ongoing by devotees, opposing the entry of girls and women of menstrual age into the Lord Ayyappa temple.
7) Meanwhile, Pune police detained an activist, Trupti Desai, earlier in the morning. According to news agency ANI, she wrote a letter to police on Thursday and put out her demand to meet and discuss Sabarimala temple issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Shirdi later today. She also threatened to stop the PM’s convoy if he does not meet her, ANI reported.
8) She asserted it was her Constitutional right to protest and called it an attempt to suppress dissenting voice. “Police force was already here today morning when we were about to leave for Shirdi. It is wrong. It is our Constitutional right to protest. We are being stopped at home only. It is an attempt to suppress our voice through Modi ji,” activist Trupti Desai told ANI, on being detained by police.
9) Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala said the government must not lay the ground for BJP or RSS to exploit this situation. “The govt must decide whether the beliefs of crores of devotees must be protected or to implement the agenda of a few women,” he said.
10) The hearing in the bail application matter of activist Rahul Easwar will take place tomorrow before Pathanamthitta Judicial first class Magistrate 1. He was arrested on October 17 from Nilakkal base camp.
The Travancore Devaswom Board had on Thursday said it was ready for any compromise to bring peace to the hill shrine. The board is headed by ruling CPM party leader A Padmakumar and manages the temple.