The Kerala government on Friday told the High Court that two days can be set aside for the exclusive entry of women devotees to Sabarimala temple, the Hindustan Times reported. This would allow the government to implement the Supreme Court’s September order, which allowed women of all ages to visit the hilltop shrine. So far, protesting devotees have not allowed women between the ages of 10 and 50 to enter the temple.
The government made the suggestion during the hearing of a petition by four women seeking security while trekking to the temple. When the women suggested that at least three days in a week be kept aside for the entry of women of all ages, the government said it could make such arrangements twice a week, NDTV reported.
“There is threat to life to women devotees who want to go to Sabarimala,” the petitioners said. The court, however, said that their safety was as important as their fundamental rights. “We cannot send you into any trouble,” the court added. It then asked the state government to submit a report on ways in which women can be allowed to enter the shrine without any danger.
This came a day after the High Court ordered that pilgrims cannot be stopped from moving in groups or chanting and singing songs near the temple. It had said the police could only act against those “breaching the peace”. Later on Thursday, the Pathanamthitta district collector extended orders prohibiting the assembly of four or more people for four more days in and around Sabarimala.
Bandh in Kanyakumari
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday observed a dawn-to-dusk shutdown in Tamil Nadu’s Kanyakumari district after the Kerala Police allegedly stopped Union minister Pon Radhakrishnan’s car in Pamba in the early hours of Thursday.
The police, however, claimed they did not stop the minister’s vehicle and had only checked the last vehicle in his cavalcade as they suspected a person who had created trouble at the temple was in the car. The minister had got into an argument with Superintendent of Police Yathish Chandra after arriving at Nilakkal, the base camp of the hill shrine on Wednesday morning.