The Sabarimala temple to be closed on Monday night after monthly rituals as a relief to the authorities who have been on a stand-off with devotees protesting the women (menstrual age) entry into the Lord Ayyappa temple. So far, no woman aged between 10 and 15 has succeeded in reaching the temple hills.
However, until now 12 women aged in between 10 to 50 has attempted to reach the Sabarimala temple and was stopped from entering and worshiping the Lord Ayappa following the centuries-old ban.
Though attempts had been made by some young women, including an activist, to enter the Sabarimala temple of the celibate deity since Wednesday, the devotees, backed by priests, have stood their ground, saying they would not allow the tradition to be breached. Tension has prevailed in Sabarimala and nearby areas after the police clashed with protesters.
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The BJP demanded a special session of the Kerala assembly to seek the Centre’s intervention, while the Congress sought an ordinance by the Narendra Modi government.
The Pandalam royal family, the traditional custodian of the Sabarimala temple, alleged the CPI(M)-led LDF government was trying to destroy the sanctity of the shrine by allowing women in the menstrual age group at the shrine.
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As the stand-off continues, the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), that manages the shrine, would meet Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday. The TDB had earlier said it would file a report in Supreme Court on the prevailing situation at Sabarimala.
The BJP has said that though the shrine would close on Monday, it would continue the agitation over Sabarimala.