Supreme Court tells Kerala govt to provide 'adequate security' to two women who entered Sabarimala

The Supreme Court on Friday directed the Kerala government to provide adequate security to Bindu Ammini and Kanaka Durga, the two women who entered and offered prayers at the Sabarimala temple on the intervening night of 1 and 2 January.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices LN Rao and Dinesh Maheshwari said it was only going into the aspect of security to the two women and would not like to entertain any other prayer.

File image of the Supreme Court. AP

File image of the Supreme Court. AP

Senior Advocate Indira Jaisingh submitted that the women were living under constant fear, and they needed police protection and security from the agitated mob who protest their temple entry, Live Law reported.

The bench refused Jaisingh's plea to tag the matter along with the pending petitions in the Sabarimala case.

The apex court's decision comes after Kanaka Durga who was attacked by her mother-in-law, has sought round-the-clock security for herself and Bindu. She was on Tuesday admitted in a hospital at Perinthalmanna in Malapappuram district with injuries after being hit on the head by her mother-in-law. Her mother-in-law had been upset with her for flouting custom to enter the Lord Ayyappa shrine.

The plea sought directions to all authorities to allow women of all age groups to enter the temple without any hindrance and to ensure security and safe passage, including police security to women wishing to enter the temple in future. It also pointed to danger to her life and liberty.

"Issue writ of mandamus directing authorities to provide full security, 24x7, to the two women who have entered the temple, and to deal with protesters indulging in acts of violence, physical and/or verbal on social media or otherwise against them in accordance with the law," the petition said.

It sought directions declaring all authorities not to conduct the rite of purification or to shut the temple on account of any woman between the ages of 10 and 50 having entered the temple.

"Issue directions to declare that the rite of purification diminishes the dignity as human beings and violates their fundamental right," it said.

It also sought directions declaring that any form of prevention of women aged between 10 to 50 years from visiting the hilltop shrine is contrary to the 28 September, 2018, judgment of the apex court.

Kanaka Durga and Bindu, both below the age of 50, were the first women to enter the shrine, which has traditionally been off-limits for women of menstrual age for decades, and offered prayers. Their entry caused statewide protests and clashes in Kerala, with both women being unable to return home.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Jan 18, 2019 13:03:16 IST

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