Kerala remain tense for fifth day after temple opening

Kerala remain tense since the doors of the Sabarimala shrine opened to the devotees last Wesneday, first time after the Supreme Court verdict allowing women of all ages to enter. As the temple is to be closed tonight for the time being, there seems to be no end to unrest prevailed and protest demonstrations are continuing. Though some women tried to enter the shrine ignroing protests and able to reach close to the shrine, none of them suceeded in visiting the temple.

As the Sabarimala row in Kerala refuses to die down, Ayyappa devotees earlier today, prevented two Telugu-speaking women from climbing the holy hills. The protesters chanting Ayyappa mantra stopped the women, said to be in their 40s, at the foothills itself. The women were accompanied by their relatives and they were just 200 metres away from the shrine.

The BJP has announced that it will launch a one-month long campaign across Kerala against the Supreme Court verdict that allowed women of all age groups to enter the Sabarimala Temple. K Surendran, Kerala BJP General Secretary said, “There will be a month-long Sabarimala Aiyyappa Samrakshnaye Abhiyaan (Save Sabarimala Campaign) across Kerala. We will be going to every single booth, will visit every house and tell people about the importance of the sanctity of Sabarimala Temple.”

Meanwhile, Activist Rehana Fathima, who had made an attempt to enter Sabarimala temple, has been expelled from the Muslim community for “hurting the sentiments of lakhs of Hindu devotees”, the Kerala Muslim Jama’ath Council said.

Initiating action against Rehana, Council president A Poonkunju said that she had been expelled from the community. He said the Council has also directed the Ernakulam Central Muslim Jama’ath to expel her and her family from the membership of Mahallu. “Her act hurt lakhs of Hindu devotees,” the statement said.  Her act was also against the rituals of Hindu community, he added.

Only nine women below 50 have tried to walk to the temple since Wednesday when it opened after the Supreme Court last month overturned a centuries-old ban on women between 10 and 50 years entering Sabarimala. Not a single woman has managed to reach the hilltop shrine. So far seven women have tried to enter the temple since the temple opened on 17 the of this month.

Meanwhile, Sabarimala Karma Samiti is organising “namajapa” (prayer) protests to various police stations in the state protesting police action in Nilakkal and Pampa.

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