Trupti Desai to visit Sabarimala temple on Nov 17, seeks security

Deepika S

Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 14: Activist Trupti Desai is set to visit the revered Sabarimala temple in Kerala on November 17. Desai has written to Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan seeking security for her visit during the Mandala-Makaravilaku season.

She is the founder of Bhumata Brigade, an organisation that has spearheaded a successful campaign for women's right to worship in temples in North India.

"We are writing to demand police protection from the time we enter Kerala to the time we depart from the state. Already we have been receiving threats, with some warning us of dire consequences if we enter Kerala, while others threatening to commit suicide if we dare climb the temple," she said.

The Kerala government has, meanwhile, convened an all-party meeting on November 15 to discuss various issues relating to the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala, which witnessed widespread protests following the Supreme Court decision to permit entry of women of all ages into the shrine.

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The decision to call the meeting was taken on Tuesday - the day when the apex court refused to stay its September 28 verdict, lifting the centuries-old ban on girls and women in the 10-50 age group from entering the shrine and decided to hear a batch of review petitions in open court on January 22.

The two-month long annual 'Mandala Makkaravillakku' season will start on November 17 and the meeting will also take stock of the arrangements made for devotees.

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Earlier in the day, an oral plea seeking a stay on the Sabarimala verdict has been rejected by the Supreme Court. The plea was made a day after the court decided to review its verdict in the case

.On Tuesday, the court had decided to hear in open court all the 49 review petitions that challenged the decision of the court allowing entry of women of all ages into the Sabarimala temple. The decision was taken in the chambers of the Chief Justice, who along with four other judges studied the reviews. The review pleas would now be heard in open court on January 22 2019.

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