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Two Women from Andhra Turned Away by Police at Sabarimala

In Kerala
November 18, 2019

The Kerala police on Monday afternoon did not allow women to go to the Sabarimala temple to pray. Two women from Andhra Pradesh, both under the age of 50, were disallowed from entering the shrine. The police turned them away after checking their identity cards.

The temple tradition disallows women in the age group of 10 to 50 years to enter the temple precincts. The two-month-long Sabarimala temple festival officially opened for pilgrims on Sunday.

On Monday afternoon, women police officials on duty spotted the women, who had come from Andhra Pradesh, at the Pamba base camp. Being doubtful about their age, the women police officials stopped them and asked for their identity cards.

Finding that both were under 50 years of age, the police officials explained to them about the traditions of the temple. After hearing the police, both agreed to abide by the rules and returned.

A similar incident took place last Saturday when three women were not allowed to pray at the temple after the police found they were below 50 years of age.

Though the Supreme Court on Thursday gave a 3:2 verdict referring the Sabarimala review pleas to a larger bench, it maintained that it has not stayed its September 28, 2018 order allowing women of all ages to enter the temple. But this time the Kerala government has made its position clear that it would not make any effort for the entry of women into the temple to pray.

Last year, the police provided security to women who faced stiff resistance from activists of some right-wing outfits to their entry into the temple.