A police officer on Tuesday told the Kerala High Court that “frenzied protests” against the entry of women of menstruating age into the Sabarimala temple are likely during the annual pilgrim season starting November 16, leading to casualties in a possible stampede. A five-day ritual at the shrine ended on Monday, with protestors preventing women from entering it.
Last month, the Supreme Court order allowed women of all ages entry to the Sabarimala shrine. Earlier, women of menstruating age were not allowed into the temple.
On Tuesday, Special Commissioner for Sabarimala M Manoj told the High Court that demonstrators may cause chaos in Pamba, Nilakkal and Erumeli towns, which are key points for entry to Sabarimala, PTI reported. The court has appointed Manoj to submit periodical reports on matters related to the shrine.
“During the festival season, there will be large crowds in places connected with Sabarimala pilgrimage, and these type of protests by frenzied devotees and protestors may lead to crowd turbulence and stampede which may lead to injuries to pilgrims, police and others and loss of life,” Manoj claimed.
On Tuesday, the top court listed review petitions against its verdict for November 13. Meanwhile, four women, including two advocates, have approached the court seeking police protection to visit the shrine, ANI reported.