Sabarimala (Kerala): Two women in their 40s entered the Lord Ayyappa temple in Kerala early Wednesday and offered prayers. Speaking to media, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said “it is a fact that the women have entered the temple”. Following the entry of two women at the shrine, the chief priest has decided to close the sanctum sanctorum of the temple in order to perform a “purification” ceremony.
Sabarimala shut for ‘purification’ after 2 women enter shrine
The temple which opened at 3am was closed at 10.30am for performing the ritual. Normally, the shrine closes at 12.30pm. Since the purification ceremony is on, devotees have been asked to move out of the shrine. The shrine will open in the afternoon after completion of the ritual.
Despite the Supreme Court’s historic ruling on 28 September 2017, permitting women in the 10-50 age group, no children or young women in the “barred” group were able to offer prayers at the shrine following frenzied protests by devotees and right-wing outfits.
Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPM, state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan told media that the two women have entered the shrine as per the apex court order and the closure of the shrine was against the law of the land. “People should accept the development as a reality,” Balakrishnan said.
The women trekked to the hill a day after the state-sponsored 620km-long human wall of women was formed Tuesday from Kasargod in northern Kerala till the southernmost district of Thiruvananthapuram.
The two women, identified as Kanakadurga (44) and Bindu (42), wearing the traditional black dress, with their head covered, are said to have climbed the hill shrine at 3.38am Wednesday.
Police have provided security to the homes of the two women fearing possible protests.
On 24 December 2018, the two women had unsuccessfully tried to offer prayers at the shrine.
The Lord Ayyappa temple had opened for the 22-day Makaravilakku festival on 30 December, three days after the conclusion of the 41-day “mandala puja”.
Following the Supreme Court verdict allowing women of all ages to offer prayers at Sabarimala, the CPM-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) government had decided to implement the verdict, which was strongly opposed by the main opposition Congress and the BJP.
Bindu, a college lecturer and a Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation (CPI-ML) activist from Kozhikode district’s Koyilandy, and Kanakadurga, a civil supplies employee from Angadipuram in Malappuram, had come to Sabarimala on 24 December after 11 women activists of a Chennai-based outfit were prevented from reaching the shrine and chased away by devotees chanting Ayyappa mantras.
Police provided security to women who entered Sabarimala: Pinarayi Vijayan
Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the two women who entered Sabarimala early Wednesday were given police protection during their trek to the shrine. The two women in their 40s entered the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala and offered prayers.
“Earlier, women were not able to enter the temple due to certain hurdles. They may have entered the shrine today because they would not have faced any issues. It is a fact that the women have entered Sabarimala. Police have given them security,” Vijayan said.
Despite the Supreme Court’s verdict on 28 September, permitting women in the 10-50 age group, no children or young women in the “barred” group were able to offer prayers at the shrine following frenzied protests by devotees and right wing outfits.
The two women, identified as Kanakadurga (44) and Bindu (42), wearing the traditional black dress, with their heads covered, climbed the hill shrine at 3.38am Wednesday.
The women trekked to the hill a day after the state-sponsored 620-km-long human wall of women was formed Tuesday from Kasargod in the northern part of the state till the southernmost district of Thiruvananthapuram.