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Protests at Sabarimala intensifies

December 28, 2018

The protests at Sabarimala do not seem to be ending anytime soon. Three days back, over 40 women who tried to enter the hill shrine had to return back due to heavy protests. Travancore Devaswom Board head A Padmakumar said that women must refrain from entering the temple due to security reasons. Clearly, the Kerala government has not been able to control angry protestors and mobs at the hill shrine. Over the past three days, the abode of Lord Ayyappa has been witnessing communal clashes.

Given the noisy disturbance the BJP is making inKerala on #Sabarimala, I asked the Govt whether they had given any thought to a legislative solution to the issue. It seems the ruling party at theCentre doesn't give the issue the same importance their Kerala agitators claim to do!-Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament

Sabarimala hosted the Mandala Kalam, the most auspicious time of the year at the temple. This 41 days festival came to an end on Thursday. Thousands of pilgrims from across the world thronged the temple premises during this time. In spite of the Supreme Court verdict allowing women to enter, angry mobs and protestors have not been letting any women to cross Pamba or Nilakkal. The temple will re-open for the Mandala Vilakku on 30 December at 5 pm for the world famous Makara Vilakku.

"Irked by the grand success of #AyyappaJyothi organised by Sabarimala Karma Samiti, CPM goons attacked the Hindu devotees at Karivellur in Kerala. Many devotees including women&children were severely injured in bomb attacks by Communists. (Panicked victims chanting Ayyappa mantra)", tweeted J Nandakumar.

On 28 September, the Supreme Court of India had lifted the age old ban of women devotees being barred from entering Sabarimala shrine. The temple is believed to be the abode of Lord Ayyappa who is celibate. Hence, women of menstruating age (10-50 years) were denied entry into the temple. The law was implemented on 14 October. But since then, no women have been able to enter the temple due to angry mobs in and around the area. Kerala government, under leadership of Pinarayi Vijayan, has assured security to women devotees who plan to enter the shrine for 'Mandala Puja'.

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