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Sabarimala reopens: Protesters, Suicide squad to block women's entry

Saima Siddiqui

Saima SiddiquiBy Saima Siddiqui

Published on 16 Oct 2018 7:04 AM GMT

Sabarimala reopens: Protesters, Suicide squad to block women entry
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Mumbai: Amid many protests, Sabarimala temple is to open its gates for its five-days long monthly pooja on 17 October.

Many bodies of devotees, political outfits and Hindu organisations are all set to protest against Supreme Court's verdict to allow women of all ages to enter Sabarimala temple.

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Protesters from more than 30 organisations are up to make their strength felt by organising a protest at Nilakkal, the base camp of Sabarimala hill shrine, and Pampa, the base of the hill from where the devotees trek to the temple.

Previously, according to the local age old custom women, between the ages of 10 and 50 menstruating age group, were prohibited to enter temple premises devoted to Lord Ayyappa, who, according to religious texts, has taken the oath of celibacy.

To uphold the custom Shiv Sena and the Ayyappa Dharma Sena will stage a protest to prevent the women's entry in the hill shrine, according to a source.

The Sena is said to send a seven-member suicide squad to temple to prevent women who try to defy its tradition and custom.

Thiruvananthapuram-based Sena leader Peringamala Aji said that the suicide squad members will commit suicide if anyone dares to violate temple's tradition. He also added that hundreds of protestors will be send to Nilakkal and Pampa to resist women from the menstruating age group from entering the temple.

“We will not allow them to cross Pampa. They would be able to trek on the hill only by stepping over the dead bodies of our workers. Be it Trupti Desai or anyone else, our workers won't let anybody break customs,” the Sena leader said.

He further added that the protest is not against the Supreme Court verdict but the state government. The government should protect the customs and practices of the temple and shouldn't implement it without considering other options to uphold age old tradition.

The Bharatiya Janata Party, has also made an offer to state government to either file a review petition in Supreme Court or pass an ordinance to nullify the court's verdict.

However, both the pleas have been rejected by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan as his government had favoured women's entry in the Sabarimala temple in the affidavit filed in the court.

Saima Siddiqui

Saima Siddiqui

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