CM Pinarayi Vijayan, called for an all-party meeting today; to discuss the row over entry of women in menstruating ages at the Shabarimala temple ahead of the two-month long annual ‘Mandala Makkaravillakku’ or the pilgrimage season, set to start on November 17.
The main agenda at today’s all-party meeting is reviewing the arrangements made for devotees, say sources. Over 500 young women have registered on the website of the Kerala police, for darshan, over the last one week.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan accused the BJP and the RSS of conspiring to create trouble at Shabarimala. “The odious politics and perfidious ways of the BJP stand exposed. Evidence has surfaced that BJP leaders in the state connived to create trouble,” Mr Vijayan said on November 9.
Last week both the BJP and the Congress hit the streets in Kerala protesting the Supreme Court’s order, lifting ban on girls and women in 10 to 50 age groups, from entering the temple. While the BJP took out a rath yatra called ‘Save Shabarimala Campaign’, the Congress organized padyatras across the state, starting from five locations.
The Shabarimala temple saw a string of protests when it opened for monthly pujas for five days in October and two days earlier this month. Not a single woman in menstruating age groups has been able to enter the shrine so far.
Last Monday, the Kerala government submitted an affidavit in the High Court, stating that it never interfered in religious matters and rituals at Sabarimala temple.
The state government also told the court that some political parties, with their own agenda staged protests condemning the judgment of the Supreme Court and obstructed women devotees from entering the temple.
Meanwhile, woman activist Trupti Desai on Wednesday, waded into the Shabarimala row when she asked for complete police protection during her visit to the temple starting Friday. Activist Rahul Eashwar promised to fight her tooth-and-nail to prevent her from entering the shrine.
As many as 3,505 protesters have been arrested and around 529 cases were registered in connection with a series of incidents of violence in the state after the opening of the temple gate in October.>