The Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Kerala government has deployed 2,300 cops, including a 20-member team of commandos and 100 women security personnel at Sabarimala, Times Of India has reported.
The shrine has been the location for protests by the devotees after Supreme Court judgement unilaterally abolished the centuries-old traditional practice of restricted entry of women of reproductive age into Lord Ayyappa’s adobe. The sole woman-member of the bench dissented from the majority judgement.
The temple will open its doors today for two days, weeks after being closed amidst the Kerala government’s crackdown on devotees in which more than three thousand were arrested and bail was set as high as Rs 13 lakh.
Those against the court’s move have argued that the primary objective of the practice was to honour the celibacy of the deity, Lord Ayyappa and not disrespecting woman as is wrongly portrayed.
During the hearing in the case in the Supreme Court, lawyer J Sai Deepak, representing a non-profit organisation called ‘People for Dharma’, put forward evidence from various religious texts before the bench, establishing the celibate nature of the deity.
He stated that the charge of discrimination against women would’ve been justified had the entire focus of the practice would have been to keep “all women” out, but that is not the case.
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