Extremism

Kerala: Sabarimala Temple to close today, police warn journalists of ‘targeted attacks on media’

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File photo for representation.

Kerala’s famed Sabarimala Temple will close Monday at 10 pm following the end of the five-day ‘puja’. The Temple has been in the spotlight after the Supreme Court of India struck down against the ‘violation of rights’ of Hindu women from ages 10-50 to practice their own religion and for having been denied entry into the temple by then Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra.

The bench, also including Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra, had said that patriarchy in religion cannot be allowed to trump the right to pray.

However, from the past few days, nine women have attempted to enter the temple but have been stopped by the protesters.On Sunday, a 47-year-old woman suffered panic attack at the entrance of the temple after protesters surrounded and heckled her.

Journalists who have been reporting from Pamba have been told by the police to leave the area as they had information about targeted attacks on the media, reported NDTV.

The temple administration has written to the state government that it would lock the temple and stop rituals if any tradition is broken. Now there are concerns over more than a thousand men camping inside the temple, who can take law into their own hands, to stop women less than 50, from entering the shrine, claimed the temple authorities.

The BJP has denied allegations that it has deployed its party workers at the temple, to intensify the protests. The party has demanded a special assembly session to seek the government of India’s intervention, while the Congress sought an ordinance by GoI to override the Supreme Court’s order. Both the parties have alleged that the CPI(M)-led government in Kerala was trying to destroy the sanctity of the shrine.

The state BJP on Sunday decided to stage protests across Kerala against the Supreme Court’s Sabrimala temple verdict. “There will be a month-long Sabarimala Ayyappa Samrakshanaye Abhiyan,” K Surendran, Kerala BJP General Secretary told news agency ANI.

BJP workers will go from door to door and tell people about the importance of maintaining the sanctity of the temple, he added.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has blamed the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for the violence last Wednesday at Sabarimala. In a blog on Facebook, he said, “Sabarimala has a uniqueness that other temples lack. It allows entry for people of all faith. Sangh Parivar and RSS have always been intolerant of this fact. They have made many attempts to erase this distinction of Sabarimala.”

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