Thousandsprotest Sabarimala order asshrinetoopenonwed
Tension builds after activist Trupti Desai announces plans to visit temple in Kerala
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With three days left for the Sabarimala temple to open for monthly poojas, thousands of Ayyappa devotees took to the streets in Kochi on Saturday against the Supreme Court verdict allowing women of all age groups into Sabarimala temple, even as activist Trupti Desai announced plans to visit the hill shrine soon.
The Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) government, which decided to implement the Supreme Court ruling, held a meeting to evaluate preparations carried out for pilgrims arriving at the temple which will open for monthly poojas on Wednesday.
Although the government has not reacted to Desai’s planned trip to the temple, it has evoked sharp reactions from devotees and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is campaigning against the entry of women into the shrine.
Sasikumar Varma, member of
Padalam’s ex-royal, criticised Desai and urged the social activist to refrain from making any “provocative” move. He urged the Left government to take steps to prevent any law-and-order situation.
Desai, the Bhumata Brigade leader, said in Mumbai that she along with a group of women will visit the temple “shortly” to offer prayers. “We will visit Sabarimala shortly. The ongoing agitation by devotees is the violation of the Supreme Court verdict. I appeal agitating devotees to welcome those women who come for worship at the hill shrine. I want
to ask the Congress and the BJP whether they are against the fundamental rights of women. The parties should also explain their stand on this,” Desai said.
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