Thiruvananthapuram: As many as 539 women between the ages of 10 and 50 are among 3 lakh people to have registered on the Kerala Police portal for darshan at the Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala.
The Kerala Police had started the portal a few years ago as a virtual queue system and to maintain records of the people entering the temple, which is now at the centre of a violent stalemate after the Supreme Court allowed the entry of women of menstruating ages.
Duplications, however, are likely among the registered names as the portal does not require people to submit details of credit/debit cards for registration. The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation portal, which does require card details, had received only 50,000 names in comparison so far.
The temple had opened for monthly prayers on November 6 when protesters intimidated and sent back at least one woman.
The temple had witnessed massive protests between October 17 and 22, after it opened for the first time following the apex court's ruling allowing the girls and women between 10 and 50 to enter the Lord Ayyappa shrine.
The temple town is witnessing one of its most stringent security arrangements. There were more than 2,300 police officials posted at various points up the pilgrimage path after the state took over the shrine's security last week.
The Kerala government has announced it would implement the apex court's ruling, pitting it against the BJP and numerous Hindu groups, which have been up in arms against the verdict.