Sabarimala, Nov 18: The Minister of State for External Affairs, V Muraleedharan referred the devotees of visiting the shrine of Sabarimala as 'urban naxals, anarchists and atheists' on Sunday. Such a remark came on Sunday after the temple opened for the two months long Mandala-Makaravillakku pilgrimage season on Saturday evening.
The Union Minister has also said that it should be probed whether they are genuine devotees.
The Muraleedharan was quoted while saying to media, "The people who are going to temple now, are urban naxals, anarchists and atheists. I don't think they're devotees. They want to prove that they have gone to Sabarimala Temple. Whether they're really devotees, it should be examined."
The ministers' comments came following the Supreme Court's decision to refer to a larger bench re-examination of religious issues including those arising out of its 2018 verdict that lifted the centuries-old ban on women of menstruating age visiting the shrine of Lord Ayyappa.
According to police, on Saturday after the temple was opened, nearly ten young women from Andhra Pradesh, who arrived at Pamba to offer prayers were sent back.
In 2018, the government of Kerala had provided protection to the women devotees who visited the temple. However, this year they have made it clear that it would not encourage women who want to enter the shrine for publicity.