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Sabarimala not a place for activism: Kerala minister

November 15, 2019 18:04 IST

Sabarimala is not a place for activism and the Left Democratic Front government would not support those who make announcements about entering the hill shrine for the sake of publicity, Kerala Devaswom Minister Minister Kadakampally Surendran said on Friday.

Dismissing reports that police would provide security to women activists who attempt to enter the Lord Ayyappa shrine, he said there were 'some confusion' over the latest Supreme Court order and women desirous of visiting Sabarimala should get a 'court order'.

Surendran was replying to questions from reporters in Thiruvananthapuram in the backdrop of Thursday's apex court decision to set up a larger bench to re-examine religious issues including those arising out of its earlier verdict that lifted a centuries-old ban on women in menstrual age visiting the Sabarimala shrine.

 

"Sabarimala is not a place for activists to show their activism. There are some people who call press meet and declare they will enter the shrine. They are doing it just for publicity. Government will not support such trends," the minister said.

When asked about certain activists who said they will visit the shrine as there was no stay on the September 28, 2018 order of the Supreme Court allowing women of all age group to enter the shrine, the minister said, "They can approach the apex court, procure an order and come."

"Some confusions are still there in the order. The government will consult the legal experts," he said.

Incidentally, Justice R F Nariman, who had penned a dissent order on behalf of himself and Justice D Y Chandrachud in the judgment, on Friday said the government must read the 'extremely important dissent' verdict in the 3:2 majority verdict.

"Please tell your government to read the dissent judgment delivered in the Sabaimala case yesterday, which is extremely important.... Inform your authority and the government to read it," the Judge told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta in the court.

A five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi has said a larger bench will re-examine various religious issues, including the entry of women into the Sabarimala temple and mosques and the practice of female genital mutilation in the Dawoodi Bohra community.

By a 3:2 verdict, it decided to keep pending the pleas seeking a review of its decision regarding the entry of women into the shrine, and said restrictions on women in religious places was not restricted to Sabarimala alone and was prevalent in other religions as well.

Around 65 petitions, including 56 review petitions and four fresh petitions, had been moved in the apex court against its last year verdict.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had on Thursday said the Left front government would consult legal experts to get more clarity on the apex court verdict.

He also said the government was always ready to implement the court order, whatsoever it may be.

Reacting to the verdict, Bindhu, who along with Kanakadurga had trekked the holy hills and offered prayers at the shrine, scripting history on January 2, said the positive aspect of the apex court's latest order was that it had not stayed the September 28 verdict.

"The Sangh Parivar which welcomed the Ayodhya verdict is bound to accept the SC verdict in this case also. The government and the police are also bound to help and protect those who want to visit the shrine," she had told reporters.

Kanakadurga has said should would like to go to Sabarimala again if there was no stay on the earlier order.

The famous temple will open on November 16 a day ahead of the commencement of the annual two-month-long pilgrimage season.

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