Security Boosted In Kerala As Sabarimala Temple Opens For Women For The First Time Today

| October 17 , 2018 , 08:32 IST

Security has been boosted around the Sabarimala Temple and its base camp in Kerala as it opens its doors for devotees on Wednesday, for the first time since the Supreme Court ruled that women between the ages of 10-50 years can enter the temple, from which they were earlier barred.

A total of 1,000 security personnel, including 800 men and 200 women have been deployed at the  Nillekal and Pampa base while another 500 security have been deployed at Sannidhanam, where the temple is located.

The Sabarimala temple, dedicated to Lord Ayyappa, traditionally barred the entry of women of menstruating age, but the practice was challenged in the Supreme Court. The apex court on September 28 ruled that women of all age groups should be allowed to enter the Sabarimala temple, sparking protests in Kerala from political parties, Hindu outfits, temple priests and general public men as well as women.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, while reiterating that the state government does plan to challenge the verdict of the Supreme Court, said that meanwhile the apex court's ruling will be followed and the state government would not allow anyone to take law and order into their own hands.

ALSO READ: Supreme Court Allows Entry Of Women Of All Ages In Kerala's Sabarimala Temple

"We will not allow anyone to take law and order into their hands. The government will ensure facilities to devotees who will visit Sabarimala Temple to offer prayers," Vijayan said on Tuesday.

"We will go by what the Supreme Court says," he asserted.

The Shiv Sena and the Ayyappa Dharma Sena have said that they will prevent women of the barred age group from entering the Sabarimala temple, threatening to send a 7-member suicide squad to resist those attempting to enter the temple defying its customs and traditions.

Hundreds of women devotees of Lord Ayyappa checked vehicles at the main gateway to Sabarimala at Nilackal to stop girls and women from passing and visiting the shrine.