Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Wednesday that the state government will not file a review petition on the Supreme Court's verdict allowing women of all ages to enter the Sabarimala temple. Vijayan added that the state will ensure facilities and protection to women devotees visiting Sabarimala, reported ANI.
He further added that women police personnel from Kerala and other neighbouring states will be deployed to ensure law and order is maintained. The chief minister, however, said that those "women who want to go to Sabarimala cannot be stopped."
On Tuesday, devotees of Lord Ayappa, reportedly, wanted to file a review petition as they believed that their religious beliefs have been compromised with the Supreme Court verdict.
On Monday, the chief minister had held a meeting with his cabinet of ministers after the Supreme Court verdict on Sabarimala case. "The meeting decided to increase facilities at various camps en route to the temple. At the Nilackal base camp, we have today decided to increase pilgrim facilities from 6,000 to 10,000. There will also be a special enclosure for women," State Minister for Devasoms (a watchdog body of temples which oversees the functioning of all the Devasom Boards in Kerala), K Surendran said. He said the toilets for women will be in a different colour.
"Facilities at the bathing enclosure in river Pampa will also be increased." The minister said that while online booking for 'darshan' is already available on the temple website, authorities are also trying out ways for booking via mobile apps.
"We have decided to increase the lighting facilities all around the temple town. Under the new scheme of things, all vehicles will be parked at Nilackal and from there pilgrims will have to take the bus service. Twenty-five per cent of all buses would be kept aside for women," said Surendran.
Hundreds of Ayyappa devotees, including women, blocked state and national highways in various parts of Kerala Tuesday protesting the recent Supreme Court verdict, permitting women of all ages to worship at the hill shrine at Sabarimala.
The 'Antarrashtriya Hindu Parishad' (International Hindu organisation), an outfit launched by Praveen Togadia after being sidelined from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, was among the outfits which launched the protests.
In Thiruvananthapuram, the activists squatted on the road at Killipalam from 11 am to 12 pm, chanting Ayyappa mantras, but allowed ambulances and vehicles carrying patients to pass. Ambili, a woman activist from Idukki, doused herself with petrol, but was immediately whisked away by police.
The activists held aloft placards, stating that the court was not bigger than Lord Ayyappa and demanded that the state and central government enact suitable legislation to maintain the age old ban.
On 28 October, a five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra lifted the ban on entry of women of menstrual age into the shrine.
The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) which is the administrative authority of the temple had earlier confirmed that the board will discuss filing a review plea against the judgment on 3 October. The TDB had earlier said that the organisation was neither happy nor disappointed with the verdict.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Oct 03, 2018 14:42:26 IST