Tight security for women who entered Sabarimala
January 19, 2019
The Supreme Court has asked the Kerala government to provide round-the-clock security to two women from Kerala who entered Sabarimala this month, going against people who are opposed to women of menstruating age offering worship at the hill shrine.
The two women are Bindu Ammini and Kanakadurga. Both petitioned the court for security on the grounds that they are afraid for their lives.
The court said,
Having heard the lawyers we deem it appropriate to close this petition at this stage by directing Kerala to provide round the clock. Beyond the above we do not consider it necessary to go into any other issues. - Supreme Court
The court refused to entertain Bindu and Kanakadurga's plea that there should be no purification rites conducted after women enter the shrine.
The Kerala government told the court it was already providing full security to the two women. The two women are in hiding after threats by traditional groups. When Kanakadurga returned home on 15 January, she was attacked by her mother-in-law and was in hospital for treatment.
A Supreme Court bench last year ordered that the temple be thrown open to women of all ages, thus overturning a longstanding ban on the entry of female devotees of childbearing age. The reason was that the presiding deity, Lord Ayyappa, is a celibate.
The court order angered traditionalists, who have the support of both the Congress and the BJP in their fight.