Sabarimala Row: Man Sets Himself Ablaze Near Kerala Secretariat

Kerala Assembly has been adjourned for the day following protests by the opposition leaders in the Assembly over the Sabarimala issue.

A three-member panel of observers appointed by the Kerala High Court will visit the Sabarimala temple on Monday, 3 December. The two-day visit is to check whether there are adequate facilities, reported The New Indian Express.

  • The temple opened for the third time, since the SC verdict, on 16 Nov
  • On 27 November, the high court directed that no protests should be held at Sabarimala
  • The court also modified the ban imposed on devotees halting at Sannidhanam, saying women, children and physically challenged can halt

Man Sets Himself Ablaze Near Sabarimala Protest Venue

A 49-year-old man, Venugopalan Nair, set himself ablaze near BJP's Sabarimala protest venue, in front of the Kerala Secretariat, at around 1:30 am Thursday, 13 December. He is undergoing treatment at Thiruvananthapuram Medical college.

K Surendran Granted Conditional Bail

Kerala High Court grants conditional bail to BJP Kerala General Secretarty K Surendran on a bond of Rs. 2 Lakh. He will not enter Pathanamthitta district till the submission of the final report.

(Source: ANI)

SC Refuses Urgent Hearing of Kerala Govt's Plea

Supreme Court refuses to give an urgent hearing to a mentioning by the Kerala government, seeking a stay on the observation committee in Sabarimala temple issue.

(Source: ANI)

BJP's K Surendran's Remand Extended to 20 Dec

BJP Leader K Surendran's remnad extended for 14 days. The Supreme Court said that Surendran will remain in judicial custody till 20 December.

(Source: News18)

Kerala Min Against Using Children as 'Shield' in Sabarimala Stir

Cautioning against using children as 'shield' during agitations including the recent Sabarimala stir, Kerala Social Justice Minister K K Shylaja Wednesday said the state government would have to take action against such practices.

The minister told the state Assembly that causing difficulties to children by engaging them in protests was against the Juvenile Justice Act and amounted to violation of Protection of Child Rights Act.

"Children were being used as shields in several agitations including in the recent Sabarimala stir.

(Source: PTI)

Kerala Assembly Adjourned Following Protests by Opposition

Kerala Assembly has been adjourned for the day following protests by the opposition leaders in the Assembly over the Sabarimala matter.

Kerala High Court Appointed Panel to Visit Sabarimala

A three-member panel of observers appointed by the Kerala High Court will visit the Sabarimala temple on Monday. The two-day visit is to check whether there are adequate facilities, reported The New Indian Express.

Two Women Pilgrims Under 50 Forced to Return by Protesting Pilgrims

Two young women from Andhra Pradesh, who were on their way to offer prayers at the hill shrine of Lord Ayyappa, managed to reach about a kilometer from the Sannidhanam (temple complex), but returned following protests from pilgrims, police said.

Three Ayyappa pilgrims, who were among those who protested, have been arrested in this connection, they said.

The women – Navojamma (26) and Kripavathi (42) from Guntur and Godavari districts respectively, had reached Marakootam when some Ayyappa pilgrims, who were returning from the shrine after prayers, protested and chanted 'Ayyappa mantras' police said.

While Navojamma had come with a 40-member group, Kripavathi had come to the shrine in another group, comprising 15 members, police said.

The women returned without trekking to the holy shrine, they said to PTI.

Repeal Section 144 In and Around Sabarimala, Demands Opposition

Even as Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan attempted to answer questions regarding the Disaster Relief Fund, the Opposition raised slogans in the well of Kerala Assembly, demanding a repeal of Section 144 and prohibitory orders in and around Sabarimala.

Erstwhile Kerala Congress MLA PC George and BJP’s O Rajagopal arrived at the Assembly dressed in the black garb of Ayyappa devotees as a sign of protest, reported The News Minute.

BJP to Send Four-Member Delegation to Assess Sabarimala 'Agitation'

A four-member delegation formed by BJP chief Amit Shah will visit Sabarimala to get a first hand account of the atrocities allegedly being carried out against the ‘satyagrahis’. It will also assess “indiscriminate arrests being made by police during the agitation.”

BJP general secretary Saroj Pandey, national president of the party’s Schedule Caste morcha Vinod Sonkar, members of Parliament Pralhad Joshi and Nalin Kumar Kateel are the members of the delegation, and they will submit a report within 15 days to the party chief, said the BJP in a statement on Tuesday, 27 November.

No Protests, Demonstrations at Sabarimala: Kerala High Court

The Kerala High Court on Tuesday, 27 November ordered that no protests or demonstrations should be held at Sabarimala, holding that it was not a place for such activities.

The court also set aside the 'unilateral' restrictions imposed by police on the devotees in Sannidhanam temple complex and appointed a three-member team as its observers there during the ongoing Mandala-Makaravilakku festival season.

Considering a batch of petitions on the Sabarimala issue, a division bench comprising justices P R Ramachandra Menon and N Anil Kumar said that no protests or demonstrations should be held at the Sannidhanam as it was not a place for such activities.

The court also modified the restrictions imposed on chanting Ayyappa mantra as well as a ban imposed on halting at the Sannidhanam.

It said that women, children and the physically challenged can halt at the complex.

Kerala HC Rules out 'Nama Japa' Police Order

Kerala High Court on Tuesday, 27 November, ruled out the police order that 'Nama Japa'(continuous repetition of God's name) should not be conducted at Sannidhanam, reported ANI.

Furthermore, the state’s court has appointed three observers in Sabarimala case to assess the situation.

Activist Rehana Fathima Arrested for Allegedly 'Hurting Religious Sentiments'

Activist Rehana Fathima, who had attempted to enter the Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala when it opened for monthly puja last month, was arrested on Tuesday, 27 November for allegedly hurting religious sentiments through her Facebook posts, police said.

Fathima, 32, was arrested from office in Palarivattom in Kochi, a police officer said.

The activist, a BSNL employee, was booked by police in Pathanamthitta on a complaint by Radhakrishna Menon, alleging that some of her Facebook posts hurt religious sentiments.

She was booked under Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code -- deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs.

She was later taken to Pathanamathitta after her arrest, police said.

A controversy had erupted in Kerala after Fathima made an attempt to enter the Sabarimala temple when it was opened for monthly puja in October following the Supreme Court order allowing entry of women in the age group of 10-50.

Court Gives Kelala Govt, Devaswom Board 2 Weeks to Reply to Swamy's Plea

The Supreme Court gives two more weeks to Kerala government and Devaswom board to file replies to petition by BJP MP Subramanian Swamy, CNN-News18 reported. Swamy had sought abolition of the board and the removal of control of state government over Hindu temples.

Steady Flow of Pilgrims at Shrine, CM Slams Sangh Parivar

The Sabarimala shrine witnessed a steady flow of devotees Friday, 23 November, even as Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan came out in support of a senior IPS officer who was allegedly embroiled in a spat with Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan two days ago.

Backing Superintendent of Police Yatish Chandra, who has been facing backlash from right-wing activists for allegedly insulting Radhakrishnan, Vijayan alleged the Sangh Parivar was "attacking sincere officers to demoralise them."

“Only VIP vehicles are allowed to Pamba from Nilackal. This is due to the peculiar situation at Sabarimala. However, the people accompanying the union minister wanted their private vehicles to be allowed till Pamba. The officer was politely explaining the situation,” Vijayan told reporters at Thiruvanathapuram.

"The Sangh Parivar has been attacking police officials who have been doing sincere work to demoralise them," Vijayan said.

2 Days Can Be Set Apart for Women to Pray at Sabarimala: Kerala Govt Tells HC

Amid the stand-off over entry of women of menstrual age into the Lord Ayyappa temple, the Kerala government Friday, 23 November, informed the High Court that two days could be set apart for women pilgrims of all ages to offer prayers at the Sabarimala hill shrine.

The suggestion was made when the court was hearing a petition moved by four women devotees seeking protection for women of all age groups to offer prayers at the shrine besides facilities for smooth pilgrimage in the wake of the recent Supreme Court judgement.

In their PIL, the four women, in their 20s and 30s, suggested devoting two to three days exclusively to women of all ages "who are desirous to go to Sabarimala after ridding the shrine, its premises and nearby towns from the goons and henchmen" opposing entry of women of menstrual age into the shrine.

BJP Bandh to Condemn Kerala Cops' "Disrespectful" Behaviour Towards Radhakrishnan

The Bharatiya Janata Party Friday, 23 November, observed a dawn-to-dusk bandh in this district, to condemn the "disrespectful" behaviour of police towards Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan while he was en route to Sabarimala two days ago. Most shops remained closed.

BJP workers shouted slogans against the Kerala government and its police.

They also blocked some Kerala State Transport Corporation Buses for sometime before police persuaded them to disperse.

At Gudalur in Theni district, some BJP workers blocked a KSRTC bus for an hour before police intervened.

Radhakrishnan's Sabarimala visit got entangled in a controversy after the BJP alleged that a senior IPS officer Yatish Chandra allegedly behaved arrogantly" with the minister Wednesday.

Contempt Petition Filed Against Kerala BJP Prez, Sabarimala Priest

A contempt petition was filed in SC against BJP Kerala President, PS Sreedharan Pillai, Sabarimala temple priest and three others.

Earlier, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta declined to give sanction to file the petition, so the petitioners filed the application directly in the SC.

4 Women Seek Protection to Enter Sabarimala

Four women filed petition at Kerala HC seeking police protection to go to Sabarimala darshan and sought directions from court for state government to ensure the protection to them who are facing life threat. They also demanded particular days reserved for only women's entry in the temple.

Kerala CM Meets Governor

Kerala Governor Rtd Justice P Sathasivam met with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to discuss the Sabarimala issue.

According to India Today, the meeting between the two at Rajbhavan lasted for 30 minutes during which Sathasivam expressed his concerns over the ongoing controversy.

After HC Enquiry, Kerala Govt Removes Section 144 at Sabarimala

The Kerala government on Wednesday repealed restrictions imposed on Sabarimala and its surrounding areas after the Kerala High Court questioned the government about its reasons for doing so, The News Minute reported.

The court, which heard three different petitions on the alleged police excesses to ensure security and enforcement of restrictions in the area, asked the Pathanamthitta district administration to produce documents which explained the reason behind the need to take such action.

Following violent protests at the temple after the 28 September Supreme Court verdict which allowed women of all ages entry into Sabarimala, the Pinarayi Vijayan government imposed Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (prohibitory orders) at the Sannidhanam, Nilakkal, Pamba, Elavugal etc, banning more than 3 to 4 people assembling in these areas.

BJP Leader K Surendran Granted Bail by Thiruvalla Court

BJPs Kerala state general secretary K Surendran being taken into preventive detention near Sabarimala on Saturday, 17 November.

BJP leader K Surendran, who was taken into custody last week at Nilakkal for moving towards the Sabarimala Temple, has been granted bail by the Thiruvalla Court in Kerala, news agency ANI reported.

Kerala HC Asks Govt to Explain Imposition of Section 144

The Kerala High Court, on Wednesday 21 November asked the state government to explain the imposition of Section 144. The court asked the Kerala governemnt to explain in detail how is section 144 being implemented in the area.

Sabarimala Issue is Getting Out of Hand, Says Congress Leader Chandy

Senior Congress leader Oommen Chandy on Tuesday, 20 November, accused the Left-led government in Kerala of handling the issue at the Sabarimala temple ineptly and said the hilltop shrine to Lord Ayyappa has suffered badly because of the controversy, Hindustan Times reported.

The Congress leader said the government was treating devotees trekking to the Sabarimala temple as terrorists. “All are in a race to make their trekking miserable,” he said.

Amit Shah Slams Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan

In a series of tweets, Amit Shah has asserted that the BJP holds the Sabrimala tradition close to their hearts and that Kerala Chief Minister (CM) Pinarayi Vijayan is "mistaken" in arresting K Surendran, BJP's Thissur District President.

Shah has also accused Pinarayi Vijayan of treating Ayappa devotees "like inmates of Gulag" and and "forcing" young girls and mothers of taking "the ardous pilgrimage" without basic facilities.

CM Justifies Police Action, Blames RSS For Stirring Trouble

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday, 19 November, justified police action in Sabarimala, saying those who tried to create trouble were arrested on Sunday, 18 November, night even as he accused the Sangh Parivar of implementing its agenda.

"They were not Ayyappa devotees. RSS workers were camping at Sannidhanam with a motive to create trouble. The government cannot let anyone create trouble at Sabarimala," the chief minister said at the state conference of the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ).

68 persons were taken into custody from the Ayyappa temple complex in the early hours and brought to the Manniyar camp.

Opposition Leader Asks If State Under "Rule Of Hitler"

Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly Ramesh Chennithala attacked Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan over the police action against Lord Ayyappa devotees at Sabarimala Sannidhanam – the inner courtyard of the temple – and asked if the state was under the rule of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.

“It is police high-handedness. Innocent devotees who sought shelter at Valiya Nadappandhal (covered pathway) were also arrested. They all are not Sangh Parivar activists who reached there to create trouble. Is Kerala under the rule of Hitler?" Chennithala told reporters in Kochi.

Union Minister KJ Alphons Reaches Sabarimala

Union Minister Union minister KJ Alphons has also arrived at the inner courtyard (Sannidhnam) of the Sabarimala temple.

Kerala Cops Allow Sasikala to Visit Temple

Kerala police on Monday, 19 November, morning let the president of the Hindu Aikya Vedi, KP Sasikala, visit Sabarimala for her grandson’s ‘choroottu’ (rice feeding ceremony).

She has been ordered to return from the temple within 6 hours.

Travancore Board Moves SC Seeking More Time to Implement Order

The Travancore Board, which is responsible for running the temple, approached the Supreme Court on Monday, 19 November, seeking more time to implement its September order which lifted the ban on women of menstruating age from entering the temple, NDTV reported.

The plea referred to the lack of basic amenities, among other factors, as reasons for deferring the implementation.

Union Minister KJ Alphons to Visit Sabarimala Today

Union Minister KJ Alphons is expected to visit the Sabarimala temple on Monday, 19 November, to study the facilities that are meant for the pilgrims, in an attempt to review them. Alphons’ visit to Sabarimala comes amid protests against about 68 people being taken into preventive custody by the police, NDTV reported.

Female Aikya Vedi Leader Arrested; Protests Break Out

Hindu Aikya Vedi secretary K P Sasikala, 56, was arrested by the police and kept in preventive custody at the Ranni police station. Sasikala, who is also known for her communally provocative speeches, had been stopped and booked at Marakkoottam, on her way to the Sannidhanam in Sabarimala, early on Saturday, 17 November, after she refused to go back, despite being told by the police.

Sasikala, in turn, had claimed she was a devotee and that she should be allowed to proceed. She was arrested around 1.40 am on Saturday and taken to to Ranni in a police jeep. With Sangh Parivar members holding a protest right outside the police station where she is detained, reports claim that Sasikala is observing some kind of fast inside the jail, The Indian Express reported.

Gross Violation of Sabarimala Devotees Human Rights: Kerala HRC

Observing that there was a gross violation of human rights of Sabarimala devotees, the Kerala Human Rights Commisison (KHRC) Sunday directed the TDB, DGP and Local Self Government Department to ensure that basic facilities were provided to pilgrims at the temple complex.

Acting on a complaint, the commission said there was a gross human rights violations at Sabarimala Sannidhanam, Nilackal and Pamba.

The officials have been asked to file a report within two weeks, Commission member P Mohandas said. The Ayyappa devotees visiting the shrine have been denied all basic amenities, the commission said.

68 Devotees Taken Into Preventive Custody

68 people were taken into preventive custody at the Sabarimala Temple late Sunday night after fresh protests broke out at Nadapanthal area in Sannidhanam where hundreds of devotees agitated against the police restrictions.

BJP Workers Begin Protests Against Leader's Arrest

BJP workers in Kerala blocked highways on Sunday, 18 November, to protest the arrest of party general secretary Surendran, who was taken into custody on Saturday, 17 November, while on his way to the Lord Ayappa shrine.

The protesters, including women, squatted on roads, blocking traffic at various places, including in state capital, Kochi, Thrissur, Palakkad and in front of Kottarakara sub-jail, where Surendran has been lodged, and also the northernmost Kasaragod district.

In all the places, the protesters were seen clapping and chanting "Swamiyae Ayyappa".

BJP Leader Remanded to 14-Day Judicial Custody, Moved to Sub Jail

BJP Kerala General Secretary K Surendran, who was taken into preventive custody as he tried to proceed to the Lord Ayappa Temple, was produced before a magistrate on Sunday, 18 November, and remanded to 14-day judicial custody after he was charged with non-bailable offences.

Surendran, who had 'Irrumudikettu" (holy bundle of offerings for Lord Ayyappa) was taken into custody from Nilackal Saturday night as he along with two others was on his way to the temple at Sabarimala.

Surendran was asked by Superintendent of Police Yatish Chandra not to proceed towards Sabarimala but he did not heed. They were then taken into preventive custody and brought to Chittar Police Station on Saturday night.

Early today, they were taken to Pathnamthitta district hospital and then produced before the Pathnamthitta judicial first class magistrate at his residence.

The magistrate remanded them to 14-day judicial custody.

BJP Leader K Surendran Not Allowed to Go to Sabarimala

BJP leader K Surendran not allowed to go towards Sabarimala Temple. He has been taken into custody at Nilakkal, reported ANI.

Travancore Devaswom Board to Move SC on Monday

The Travancore Devaswom Board, which manages the Sabarimala shrine, would move the Supreme Court on Monday, 19 November, seeking more time to implement its order allowing women of menstrual age to offer prayers at the Lord Ayyappa temple.

The TDB's move comes a day after the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government, at an all-party meeting, took a firm stand that it was bound to implement the top court order and rejected suggestions by opposition parties that it seek time from the court.

Drones Deployed for Security Surveillance in Pampa

The security forces deplyed drones for security surveillance as devotees thronged to Pampa base came to trek to Sabarimala Temple on Saturday, 17 November.

The temple opened on Friday for 62-day long Mandala Pooja-Magaravilaku annual pilgrimage season.

Kerala Govt Wants to Destroy Sabarimala: BJP State President

Condemning the police action, BJP state president PS Sreedharan Pillai on Saturday, 17 November, said that the state government's effort is to "destroy" the Sabarimala pilgrimage.

"Government wants to destroy the traditions of Sabarimala. Why was Sasikala and Sudheer arrested? The BJP will strengthen its protests and support the hartal," Pillai told reporters at Kozhikode.

(PTI)

Devotees Begin Trek From Pampa to Sabarimala

Lord Ayyappa devotees began the trek from Pampa to the Sabarimala Temple on Saturday, 17 November.

The temple was opened on Friday for the 62-day long Mandala Pooja-Magaravilaku annual pilgrimage season.

Sabarimala Karma Samithi Calls Statewide Shutdown

Sabarimala Karma Samithi called for a statewide shutdown on Saturday, 17 November, from 6 am to 6 pm, in protest against the arrest of Hindu Aikya Vedi state president KP Sasikala at Marakkoottam on Friday night.

She was going to Sannidhanam and was arrested after she protested when police didn't allow her to travel at night.

(ANI)

Trupti Desai Faces Protests at Mumbai

Protesters gathered outside Mumbai airport on Friday night, as activist Trupti Desai arrived there from Kochi.

"“Trust Desai should try going there (to Sabarimala) after attaining 50 years of age and not before that. She won’t be allowed to step inside the temple before that. There are so many devotees working towards this and stopping other women too.”" - Protesters outside Mumbai airport, as quoted by ANI

The activist was at Kochi airport for the entire day on Friday as protesters did not allow her to proceed to the Sabarimala Temple.

Sad to See People Calling Themselves Ayappa Devotees Are Threatening Us: Trupti Desai

Trupti Desai, while addressing the media at the airport said that she was sad to see the so called Ayappa devotees threaten her.

“Protestors threatened taxi drivers from providing us services. Hotel staff was threatened of damage to hotels if rooms were given to us. It saddens me to see that people who call themselves Ayyappa devotees are abusing and threatening us,” she said.

Trupti Desai Returns to Pune, Not Allowed to Proceed to Sabarimala

Trupti Desai to return to her hometown Pune tonight. She has been at the Kochi airport since morning as protesters did not allow her to proceed to Sabarimala temple.

(Source: ANI)

Protests Against Trupti Desai Continue

Sabarimala Karma Samithi holds protests against Trupti Desai in Trivandrum.

Devaswom Board to Move SC

The Devaswom board will move the Supreme Court to demand more time for implementation of the court’s order allowing entry of women of all ages in Sabarimala temple, CNN-News18 reported.

Sabarimala Temple Gates Open Amid Protests Against Trupti Desai

Sabarimala Temple opens for the third time since the SC lifted the ban on women’s entry, even as furore over Trupti Desai’s decision to enter the temple tomorrow continues.

Devotees Throng Pamba Base Camp

Lord Ayyappa devotees throng the Pamba base camp in Pathanamthitta as they begin trekking to the Sabarimala Temple.

"Trupti Will Have To Step on Our Chests, Walk Over Us to Enter Sabarimala": Rahul Easwar

Activist Rahul Easwar said that Trupti Desai will have to walk over the protesters’ chests and walk over them to enter Sabarimala.

“Trupti Desai should go back. She will have to step on our chests and walk over us if she wants to enter Sabarimala Temple,” he said.

Unprecedented Security in Sabarimala, Trupti Desai Held up at the Airport

Heavy deployment of police personnel can be seen in and around the Sabarimala temple, which is scheduled to open at 5 pm this evening. Lord Ayyappa's temple will be gearing up for the "Mandala Makkaravillakku" puja in the backdrop of protests that had erupted on at least two previous occasions when the shrine had opened earlier.

The security arrangements in and around the pilgrimage were intensified hours before the shrine opens again for pilgrimage. 

Over 15,000 police personnel including 860 women civil police officers would be deployed during the season, when the shrine is expected to be thronged by lakhs of devotees from different parts of the country.

Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses will transport the pilgrims to Pamba, about 20 km from here, and no private vehicles will be allowed.

Trupti Must Find Her Car & Stay; Can Only Provide Security: Cops

Talking to The News Minute, cops in Sabarimala have said that the Right to Pray activist Trupti Desai will have to find a car and accommodation for herself if she wants to visit Sabarimala.

The top police official also said that they have decided that once Trupti arranges her car and accommodation, they will provide security for her to reach the temple.

Women’s rights activist Trupti Desai (R) and other women pilgrims wait at the Cochin International Airport after protesters blocked the arrival gate. 

Tempers Flare as Desai Irks Devotees

Accusing activist Trupti Desai of shredding Hindu tradition a step a time, BJP’s IT cell head Amit Malviya has called Desai out for contesting elections for Congress in the past.

This is the third time the shrine is opening since the apex court lifted the age-old ban on entry of women in 10-50 age group, though no girl or woman pilgrim in the age group could offer prayers so far following stiff resistance by devotees and activists, opposing any change in the temple traditions.

Taxi Drivers Have Been Threatened: Trupti Desai

Adamant about not going back without entering the temple, Trupti Desai told News18 that the taxi drivers have been told not to give them a ride as they have been threatened.

“Police have tried their best to get us out of the airport but they have not been successful. I’m not going back, we will enter Sabarimala,” Desai told News18.

Trek to Sabarimala to Commence at 1 PM

Bus services ferrying devotees to Lord Ayyappa’s shrine from Nilakkal will start at 12 pm today. Alongside, pilgrims will be allowed to begin their trek from Pamba at 1 pm, reported News18.

Trupti Held at the Airport for over 6 Hours now, Eats Breakfast Inside Premises

Forced to stay inside the airport by protestors, activist Trupti Desai was seen eating breakfast inside the premises of Cochin International Airport.

Section 144 Imposed in Nilakkal, Pamba and Sannidhanam

Section 144, prohibiting assembly of more than 4 people in an area, has been imposed in Nilakkal, Pamba and Sannidhanam as Sabrimala Temple reopens today for devotees, reported ANI.

Won't Allow Trupti Desai to Leave Airport: BJP Worker

MN Gopi, BJP district secretary, told ANI that activist Trupti Desai will not be allowed to leave the airport using police vehicle or other government means. He also threatened of staging protests all along the way if Desai manages to get out of the airport.

Protesters Gather Outside Cochin Airport as Activist Lands

Protesters outside the Cochin Airport.

Protesters have gathered outside the Cochin International Airport where social activist Trupti Desai, has landed amid heightened security. She will attempt to reach the Sabarimala temple at 7 am on 17 November.

Activist Trupti Desai reached the International Airport in the early hours of Friday, 16 November to visit the Sabarimala temple but she could not come out of the domestic terminal following protest by devotees opposing the entry of menstrual women into the Lord Ayyappa temple.

Tension prevailed at the airport as protesters announced that Desai and her colleagues, who reached here at around 4.40 am from Pune, would not be allowed to go out of the airport.

The temple opens Friday evening, for the third time since the apex court verdict on September 28 allowed women of all age group to offer prayers at the hilltop Lord Ayyappa temple though none could do so following stiff resistance from devotees and activists, opposing any change in the temple traditions.

Receiving Threats Since Yesterday: Trupti Desai Leaves for Sabarimala

Social Activist Trupti Desai, who had had written to Kerala CM seeking security for her visit to the Sabrimala Temple on 17 November left for Kerala in the wee hours of Friday, 16 November, news agency ANI reported. She will attempt to reach the temple on Saturday, 17 November.

"Team of 7 women will visit the temple. I have been receiving threats since yesterday. I believe government will provide us security." - Trupti Desai to ANI

Kerala CM Meets Tantri & Pandalam Family

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday met Pandalam and Kandaru Rajeevaru (Sabarimala Head Priest) to discuss concerns over the Supreme Court verdict allowing entry of all women to the Sabarimala temple.

The Sabarimala shrine will open tomorrow evening for 64 days for the annual Mandala-Makaravilakku pilgrimage.

"We must ensure that women during periods don't come to Sabarimala Temple," said Pandalam member Shashi Verma after meeting Kerala CM. He further added that the CM has also asked them to take matter in their own hands as the government cannot legally do anything,

Earlier, both the head priest and Pandalam Family along with BJP protested against the entry of women inside the temple.

Congress, BJP Walkout Of All-Party Meet On Sabarimala Temple

Congress party, BJP walked out of the all-party meeting held on 15 November to discuss concerns over the Supreme Court verdict allowing entry of all women to the Sabarimala temple.

Not Received Any Response From Kerala Govt: Trupti Desai

Trupti Desai says she has not received any response from the Kerala government after she urged the chief minister in Kerala to provide her security ahead of her 17 November visit to the Sabarimala temple.

She told ANI, “I have not received any response from the Kerala government. If any incident occurs, its responsibility will be on Kerala CM and DGP.”

Trupti Desai & Rahul Easwar Lock Horns Over Sabarimala Entry

Woman activist Trupti Desai waded into the Sabarimala issue when she asked for complete police protection during her visit to the temple starting Friday, 16 November. But temple activist Rahul Eashwar promised to fight her tooth-and-nail to prevent her entry, saying that he and others, along with Lord Ayyappa's devotees, would ensure that none were able to break the tradition of the temple. "We will lie down before the women who come to break the temple's tradition."

(Source: The News Minute)

Trupti Desai to Visit Temple on 17 November, Seeks Security

Trupti Desai, founder of the Bhumata Brigade, has written to Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan seeking security for visiting to Sabrimala Temple on 17 November, reported news agency ANI.

“... A total number of 7 ladies, including myself, are entering the temple,” Desai wrote in the letter. “Some devotees of Ayyappa Swamy/some party activists may try to create a disturbance. And they can put blame on us that we are responsible for these disturbances. Therefore, the request of police to closely monitor everybody's action (sic),” the letter added.

Kerala CM Calls for Meeting with Tantri Family

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has called for a meeting with Pandalam Palace and Tantri Family at 3.30 pm on Thursday, 14 November.

Kerala CM Calls For All-Party Meet

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has called for an all-party meeting to discuss the issues related to Sabarimala Temple ahead of the pilgrim season, reported news agency ANI. The meeting is slated to take place on Tuesday, 15 November.

SC Refuses Urgent Hearing, To Hear Matter on 22 January Only

The Supreme Court has refused to give an urgent hearing to a mentioning by a lawyer, seeking a stay on the September 28 verdict allowing entry of women in age groups 10-50 years in Sabarimala Temple.

Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said, "We'll hear the matter only on January 22."

Govt Will Decide Further Action in Consultation with Legal Experts: CM

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, after the review meet over SC’s decision on Sabarimala, said that the government will discuss with legal experts and move forward.

“SC has clearly said that its verdict allowing entry of women between age groups 10-50 yrs to Sabarimala temple stands. Review petitions will be heard on 22 January, after the 'Makaravilakku' season ends on 21 January. Government will discuss with legal experts and move forward,” he said.

Verdict a Victory for Lord Ayyapa's Devotees: BJP

BJP Kerala Gen Secy K. Surendran said that the verdict is a victory for the devotees.

“It's an initial victory of Lord Ayappa devotees. We are hopeful of overcoming the SC verdict when review petitions are heard. We will continue our fight till the end,” he said.

Protests Will Continue if Govt Tries to Break Rituals: RSS

"Protests to continue if government trying to break the rituals,"RSS leader Valsan Thillankery said after the SC agreed to hear review pleas in Sabarimala temple case, News18.com reported.

CM Vijayan Holding Review Meet on Sabarimala

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan is holding a review meeting on Sabarimala preparations, CNN-News18 reported. Devaswom minister Kadakampally Surendran and other departments too are present in the meeting.

Vijayan has said that the Supreme Court order of September 28 will be implemented. "Government will decide the new developments," said Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, CPM state secretary, as quoted by News18.com.

Will Stand Guard Outside Sabarimala Till 22 January: Rahul Easwar

Activist Rahul Easwar said his outfit would stand guard outside the temple till January 22 when the apex court would hear the review petitions, The Indian Express reported.

"Kerala government must cooperate with pilgrims. Devotees will naturally react against any attempt to violate traditions. We will stand guard outside Sabarimala till 22 January when the SC hears the review petition," he said.

Will Go to Sabarimala Between 16-20 November

Activist Trupti Desai told CNN-News18 that she will go to Sabarimala temple between 16-20 November.

No Stay on Court's Previous Order

The order stated that there is no stay of the judgment and order of this Court dated 28th September, 2018.

Copy of the order

Thanthri Family Head Welcomes SC's Decision

Sabarimala thanthri family head Kandararu Rajeevaru has told reports that he welcomes the SC's decision to hear arguments in open court, The News Minute reported.

Basis of Prohibition Was Physiological Nature of Women

The petitioners pointed out that Court wrongly concluded that the basis of prohibition was physiological nature of women, Live Law reported.

According to the review petitioners,the practise was rooted in the “naishtika brahmachari” character of deity, as per which the deity cannot be in the presence of women. The practise is therefore not derogatory to the dignity of women.

SC to Hear Review Petitions on 22 January

The Supreme Court on Tuesday, 13 November, agreed to hear review petitions against its verdict, which lifted the ban on entry of women of all ages, on 22 January 2019.

“Supreme Court has admitted the review petitions and said all the review petitions to be heard on January 22 in the open court,” Advocate Mathew Nedumpara told ANI.

SC Begins Hearing Review Petitions

The Supreme Court has begun hearing a batch of petitions on Tuesday, 13 November, seeking recall of the verdict delivered by the top court on 28 September allowing women of all ages to enter Lord Ayyappa’s temple at Sabarimala.

SC to Hear Writ Petitions After Review Petitions

Supreme Court says, “We will consider the writ petitions after the disposal of review petitions at 3 PM today.”

Kerala Govt Files Preliminary Objection Plea

Kerala government has opposed a plea seeking ban on entry of non-Hindus in Sabarimala Temple and stated before the Kerala High Court that temple is "secular" and said that entry of devotees based on their religion cannot be prohibited.

According to LiveLaw, State Attorney KV Sohan filed the preliminary objection on Monday, 12 November, which stated, "It is a historically accepted fact that Sabarimala is a secular temple where entry of devotees is not restricted on the ground of any caste or religion."

What Does the Petition Say?

A plea filed by National Ayyappa Devotees Association (NADA), which has sought review of the verdict, had said:

"“The notion that the judgment under review is revolutionary, one which removes the stigma or the concept of dirt or pollution associated with menstruation, is unfounded. It is a judgment welcomed by hypocrites who were aspiring for media headlines. On the merits of the case, as well, the said judgment is absolutely untenable and irrational, if not perverse.”"

Besides the Association, several other petitions including one by Nair Service Society (NSS), have been filed against the apex court verdict.

The NSS had said in the plea that as the deity is a 'Naistika Brahmachari', females below the age of 10 and after the age of 50 years are eligible to worship him and there is no practice of excluding worship by females.

"Hence, the delay or wait for 40 years to worship cannot be considered as exclusionary and it is an error of law on the face of the judgement," the plea had said.

(Source: PTI)

SC to Hear Review Petitions on Tuesday

A batch of 48 petitions seeking review of the judgment would be taken up for consideration in-chamber by a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices RF Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra.

Besides these pleas, four separate petitions seeking review of the verdict are also slated to come up for hearing in the open court before a bench comprising CJI Gogoi and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and KM Joseph.

The apex court’s judgement has led to protests and counter-protests at the hill-top shrine in Kerala.

The top court had on 9 October declined an urgent hearing on the review plea filed by an association which had contended that the five-judge Constitution bench's verdict lifting the ban was "absolutely untenable and irrational".

Later, the court had said that it would consider the review pleas on 13 November.

(Source: PTI)

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