Kottarakkara: Kerala minister MM Mani has claimed that hundreds of young women have already visited Sabarimala, and hundreds more will visit under police protection. The power minister was speaking at a function in Kottarakkara on Thursday.
The statement comes days after protests erupted in the state against the entry of two young women into the Lord Ayyappa Temple in Sabarimala. Kanakadurga and Bindu, in their 40s, offered prayers at the temple on January 2, three months after the Supreme Court lifted the ban on the entry of women at the temple.
“The government is duty-bound to implement the order of the five-judge Constitution bench. The government believes women’s entry brings gender equality. However, it will adhere to the court’s order,” Mani added.
“The CPI(M) is capable of taking thousands of women to Sabarimala. No one will dare to stop us. But that’s not CPI(M)’s responsibility, and those who feel like can visit the shrine,” the minister said.
After the young women's entry, tantri Kandararu Rajeevaru had closed the sanctum sanctorum to perform the purification ceremony.
Dismissing opposition by the temple priest and other outfits including NSS, the minister said: “The verdict is equally applicable to the tantri. The tantri was not appointed by Ayyappa himself, but the Devaswom Board. No just Ayyappa, the shrine also has Malikappuram. Sabarimala doesn’t belong to the Pandalam royal family.”
The minister pointed out that NSS chief G Sukumaran Nair’s plea was also rejected by the apex court.
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