The Kerala police on Saturday did not allow three women, who were part of a group, to go to the Sabarimala temple to pray after checking the identity cards of the women. The temple tradition disallows women in the age group of 10 to 50 years to enter the temple precinct.
The two-month-long Sabarimala temple festival officially opens for pilgrims on Sunday at 5 am. However, it opens today at 5pm. for religious rituals to be performed by temple priest and ”tantris.” The three women who were barred toady came from Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh. They were part of a froup of pilgrims who were stopped for checking by the the police at Pamba base camp. Sources said the three women were separated from the group as the police suspected them to be in the age group of 10-50 years.
Sources said the three women were briefed about the temple tradition, and that they agreed to stay back. The rest of the pilgrims were allowed to proceed further. The famed Sabarimala temple that resembled a fortress a year ago wore a peaceful look on Saturday. No prohibitory orders, which were clamped last year, have been in place in and around the temple town this time. Though the Supreme Court on Thursday gave a 3:2 verdict referring the Sabarimala review pleas to a larger bench, it maintained that it has not stayed the September 28, 2018 order allowing women to enter the temple.
This time, the Kerala government has made its position clear that it would not make any effort to take women to the temple to pray. Last year, the police provided security to women who faced stiff resistance from activists of some right-wing forces and chased them away.