As the gates of the Sabarimala temple were opened for the second time in three weeks on Monday, the Kerala government decided to deploy, for the first time, an all-women battalion.
The government’s action though, comes with a rider.
All the personnel in the battalion are above the age of 50, reported TheTimes of India, despite the Supreme Court allowing women aged between 10 and 50 to pray at the shrine.
After the verdict of the apex court, the Pinarayi Vijayan-led LDF government in Kerala has maintained its stance on implementing the verdict, and thus, the age of the personnel deployed, appears to be a departure from that.
Last month, after the verdict, Kerala police chief said they are planning to depute 500 women police personnel at the Sabarimala temple. “Laws have to be adhered to as faith is different and duty is different. Our police force consists of 6,000 women police officials and we need 500 for the Sabarimala temple... They will be posted,” Lokanath Behra, Kerala DGP said.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday morning, protests recurred at the shrine after rumours spread about a woman in her menstrual age who had allegedly entered the temple. Police, however, clarified that the woman, named Lalitha, who was escorted to the Sannidhaman (deity) is 52. A cameraperson, however, was injured in the clashes.
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