51 women in 40s made it to Sabarimala, Kerala govt tells SC

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By Ananthakrishnan G The Kerala government on Friday claimed before the Supreme Court that 51 women in the 10-50 age group had entered the Sabarimala temple ever since the court lifted the age restriction on entry of women to the hill shrine. The bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices L Nageswara Rao and Dinesh Maheshwari, which did not take this information into account, ordered the state to provide 1 and 2 herein which would be provided to the petitioners round the clock, It declined to go into other contentions raised by the petitioners. As soon as the court took up the plea, advocate Mathew Nedumpara, who has filed a review petition on behalf of an association of devotees, said there was no urgency in the matter since the shrine was about to close after the annual pilgrimage. The judges discussed the matter and thereafter the CJI said the court would ask the state to provide protection and not go into any other contention. Hansaria told the bench that the state had been providing security to them. He also submitted that 51 more women between the ages 10-50 had entered the shrine during the current season. But the court dismissed it, saying A note drawn up by the state police chief said 16 lakh devotees had registered for online advance booking for darshan. 2 lakhs devotees visited the shrine, this does not include many others who have come as normal pilgrims and not availed the online facility. But the bench told him: But the bench rejected it: is rejected. This led to protests across Kerala. Though some women attempted to enter, they failed to do so on account of the protests. Bindu and Kanakadurga, however, managed to scale the hill and reach the temple a few hours before daybreak on January 2. This led to more protests. Earlier this week, Kanakadurga claimed that she had been assaulted by her mother-in-law for entering the shrine in violation of its traditions. On Thursday, the two women approached the Supreme Court, seeking 24×7 protection. They also sought protection for all women who wanted to enter the shrine and sought action against the priest.

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