The Kerala High Court on Wednesday directed the state police to remove barricades from prime spots at the temple complex in Sabarimala, PTI reported. The court also told the police to lift some restrictions placed on pilgrims visiting the hill shrine, such as not letting them beyond Sharankutti, which is on the route to Sabarimala, after 11.30 pm.
The Kerala Police had imposed restrictions at the Sabarimala temple and nearby areas after repeated incidents of violence at the temple. Several organisations have appealed in court against the imposition of Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which prohibits four or more people from gathering in one place. The prohibitory orders have been extended till December 16, according to Manorama.
The temple opened on November 16 for the third time since the Supreme Court in September allowed women of all ages to enter the shrine. But so far, no woman between the ages of 10 and 50 has been able to enter the temple due to massive protests. Before the top court’s September 28 ruling, women of menstruating age were not permitted to enter the temple.
A division bench of Justices Ramachandra Mohan and N Anil Kumar said its November 27 order directing that no protests or demonstrations should be held at Sabarimala remains intact. The court also said that the police can take “appropriate measures” to manage the crowd depending on its intensity and without inconveniencing pilgrims.