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V Ramamoorthy | HENB | Kochi | Nov 17, 2018:: Facing the continuous and strong ‘Save Sabarimala Tradition’ movement by the Ayyappa Devotees and in the scenario of pending review petitions in the Supreme Court of India, the Kerala govt and Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) controlled by the state govt change its decision stick to ‘not to oppose the SC verdict on Sabarimala or not to buy any time to implement it’. Now, the Kerala Govt and TDB compel to bow down to the Ayyappa devotees ultimately.
Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) president A Padmakumar on Friday evening announced that the board will appeal to the Supreme Court seeking time to implement its September 28 verdict allowing women of all ages to enter the Sabarimala temple in Kerala.
Speaking to the media at the Pamba Guest house following a meeting with the members, Padmakumar said that the Devaswom Board has discussed in detail the September 28 verdict allowing women into the temple, the review and writ petitions following the verdict, and the Supreme Court’s final stance on the issue.
“We appeal to the Supreme Court to give time to implement its verdict,” he said.
The TDB president also stated that the board will bring to the notice of the SC the serious problems that the devotees had to face during the Thulamasa puja and the Atta thirunal puja.
When asked about the time duration they are seeking from the court, Padmakumar said that “it is up to the court to decide”. “We will file the petition on Monday but if possible, we will file it tomorrow itself,” he added.
Padmakumar also stated that they would alert the SC on issues at Sabarimala post floods. “Most importantly, we will point out to the SC about the destruction of facilities caused due to the floods and also inform them about orders given by the State forest department and the central-empowered committees to not construct any more buildings in Pamba,” said Padmakumar.
The Supreme Court agreed to hear the 49 review petitions filed against the September 28 verdict allowing women to enter Sabarimala, in open court on January 22. However, until then, the earlier verdict holds good, the court stated. With women having the right to enter the temple until January 22, activist Trupti Desai of Maharashtra’s Right to Pray movement, along with six other women, all in violative age (10 to 50 yrs), of the Bhumata Brigade, arrived at the Cochin Airport in Kerala to visit the temple. However, the group has been forced to go back to Pune with massive protests happening outside the airport against their visit.
High drama was witnessed at the Kochi airport after Pune-based Desai protested, though the state administration later managed to ‘convince’ her to go back. Desai remained confined at the airport after her arrival early morning en route to Sabarimala as protesters, including BJP workers, remained firm that Desai and six other young women who accompanied her would not be allowed to the temple. A complaint was filed against Desai and her group at a police station in Kerala for “outraging religious feelings,” under Section 295A of the Indian Penal code.
In another move, Kerala Police arrested Hindu Aikya Vedi President KP Sasikala Teacher early Saturday morning. Sasikala was on her way to Sabarimala when she was held by police on Friday and arrested around 1.30 am on Saturday in Marakkuttam. Reports say that she was held for several hours when she refused to backtrack, and said she would only return after completing the early morning darshan on Saturday. Achara Samrakshana Samithi state convenor Prithvipal and BJP leader P Sudhir was also taken into custody from Pamba.
Though she had told the police that she wanted to visit the temple as she was a devotee and was above 50 years of age, police suspect that she wants to be near the temple only to organise protests. When the temple had opened twice after the Supreme Court’s ruling, KP Sasikala had been near the temple organising protests and even checking documents of women who wanted to enter the temple. Police do not want a repeat of such a situation where Hindu outfit leaders like KP Sasikala would block other women.
Sasikala was later taken to the Ranni police station, and activists from the Sabarimala Karma Samithi are staging a protest in front of the station house.
Hindu Aikya Vedi called a dawn-to-dusk hartal in Kerala on Saturday following the arrest of KP Sasikala Teacher in early Saturday morning. BJP, VHP, AHP units of Kerala have supported the hartal.
__inputs from PTI & TNM.