Days before the hill shrine of Sabarimala is set to open for the 41-day Mandalam-Makaravilakku season on 17 November, the Kerala government is looking to employ military helicopters to airlift women devotees to Sabarimala from Thiruvananthapuram or Kochi as a last recourse amidst the intense protests, The Hindu reports.
Reports suggest that almost 560 women between the ages of 10 and 50 have expressed their intention to visit the temple.
Top officials said most of the women who had registered with the police queue management portal appeared to be “educated professionals” and their children. An estimated 3.20 lakh men had also reserved their darshan time in advance through the portal.
However, the Supreme Court on 13 November will take up the review petitions on the 28 September ruling that set aside the centuries-old tradition of restricting women of childbearing age from entering the temple.
Police had earlier in October escorted a few activists and journalists, but, however, such attempts were thwarted due to the strong protests from devotees, especially women.
Police officials said they would have to clear a safe path for women pilgrims from the landing spot to the temple and back.
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