Thou­sands turn up for Sabari protest march in Kochi

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES NATION -

Kochi: Protests against the Supreme Court ver­dict al­low­ing en­try of women of all ages into the Sabari­mala tem­ple con­tin­ued in Kochi on Satur­day, with women car­ry­ing plac­ards ‘Ready to Wait’ and men hold­ing ban­ners ‘Pro­tect the Sanc­tity of Poonka­vanam’ hit­ting the streets in large num­bers.

While or­ga­niz­ers claimed 50,000 peo­ple turned up for the demon­stra­tions, po­lice said about 22,000 joined the ‘Prayer Pro­ces­sion to Pro­tect the Hindu Dharma’ jointly spear­headed by about 70 Hindu out­fits. The protesters de­manded that the gov­ern­ment in­ter­vene in the is­sue and pro­tect the rit­u­als and tra­di­tions of the sa­cred hill shrine. They urged au­thor­i­ties to stop the en­try of women into the tem­ple till the SC de­cides on the re­view pe­ti­tion.

The rally was in­au­gu­rated by Gu­ru­vayur Tem­ple tantri Chen­nas Di­ne­san Nam­bood­iri­pad. Sev­eral po­lit­i­cal lead­ers, cul­tural and so­cial ac­tivists par­tic­i­pated in the rally.

Mean­while, the CPM state com­mit­tee that met on Satur­day ap­proved a de­tailed plan for de­fend­ing the “cam­paign of lies” un­leashed by Congress and Sangh Pari­var in the Sabari­mala is­sue. The ‘counter cam­paign’ will make ef­forts to sen­si­tise party mem­bers, clear doubts among the fam­i­lies of party mem­bers and fel­low trav­ellers and give con­vinc­ing an­swers to ques­tions posed by op­po­nents in the pub­lic.

The CPM is of the view that the po­lit­i­cal game played by Congress will be sui­ci­dal. They are also cau­tious about the strat­egy of BJP to reap div­i­dends by play­ing di­vi­sive pol­i­tics in the is­sue.

The crowd had gath­ered to protest against the SC or­der

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