Under pressure from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government in Kerala withdrew a controversial directive in the handbook given to police personnel on duty in Sabarimala.
The very first directive in the handbook is that entry to the temple is allowed to all — including women of menstruating age, following the Supreme Court verdict in 2018.
BJP state president K Surendran had asked if the LDF government had any ‘malicious motive’ in issuing the handbook.
He said, "If the decision (of the government) is to turn Sabarimala into a war zone again and to target believers, we haven't forgotten anything from the past. The government had backtracked from those things before. If you are coming up again with such moves, it will have far-reaching consequences... that's the only thing we can say."
Reacting to Surendran’s statement, Devaswom Minister K Radhakrishnan said that the handbooks were printed earlier and the mistake would be corrected by withdrawing the directive. He said that the government had no bad intentions.
The temple opened on Wednesday for the Mandala-Makaravilaku pilgrimage. It will close on 27 December after the conclusion of the 41-day Mandala puja and open again on 30 December for the Makaravilaku pilgrimage.
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