Sabarimala row: Travancore Devaswom Board to file affidavit in SC, says it doesn't want temple to become protest site

The legal battle over the entry of women of menstruating age into the Sabarimala temple in Kerala appears set to be revived, as the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) announced its intention to file an urgent affidavit in the Supreme Court.

A number of review petitions are currently pending before the apex court.

The board is a temple body which manages the Ayyappa shrine in Sabarimala. Last month, the Supreme Court in a landmark verdict had held that women of all ages should be allowed inside the temple and that rules prohibiting the entry of women between the ages of 10 and 50 years were violative of the Constitution.

 Sabarimala row: Travancore Devaswom Board to file affidavit in SC, says it doesnt want temple to become protest site

Protests against the SC verdict in the Sabarimala case. File image. PTI

TDB president A Padmakumar said that it will approach senior lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi and request him to appear for it in the Supreme Court. He also said that the board will take a decision on whether to file a review petition after consultations with Singhvi.

He further said, "We want peace. We do not want the Sabarimala to become a protest site."

Padmakumar on Friday had said that the board is ready for "any type of compromise to sort this issue."

On Wednesday, the iron gates of Sabarimala temple were opened for the first time since the Supreme Court's verdict. However, no woman from the previously "banned" age group could make it to its precincts amid protests and violent clashes.

Sabarimala has seen violent protests in the past few days as activists of Hindu fringe groups fought pitched battles with police, leaving many injured and bleeding. The Opposition BJP and Congress have backed the protests, and have heaped criticism on the LDF government for its decision not to file a review petition against the apex court's verdict.

They also hit out at the state government for allegedly extending support to bring women activists to Sabarimala temple, hurting the sentiments of devotees.

The Centre has asked the southern states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to tighten security in view of the continuing protests.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Oct 19, 2018 22:07:29 IST