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Centre Had Warned 3 States of Trouble Day Before Sabarimala Temple Gates Opened

The advisory, sent on October 16, said that while women’s rights activists and Left parties have been campaigning for women’s entry, opposing groups had threatened not to allow female pilgrims inside the shrine.

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Updated:October 19, 2018, 2:41 PM IST
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Centre Had Warned 3 States of Trouble Day Before Sabarimala Temple Gates Opened
Police lathicharge protestors after they opposed the entry of girls and women of menstrual age into the hill shrine of Lord Ayyappa Temple in Sabarimala on Wednesday. (PTI)
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New Delhi: The Ministry of Home Affairs had reportedly sent an advisory to the governments of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in the wake of the Supreme Court verdict on Sabarimala temple, warning of unrest over the issue.

The advisory, sent on October 16, said that while women’s rights activists and Left parties have been campaigning for women’s entry, opposing groups had threatened not to allow female pilgrims inside the shrine.

The advisory reportedly said that comprehensive security arrangements were required in place.

WhatsApp Image 2018-10-19 at 11.50.19

No female devotee has been able to pray at the shrine despite a Supreme Court order allowing the entry of women of all ages. On Friday, two women reached the hilltop but had to return before reaching the sanctum sanctorum following massive protests by the devotees.

A large number of devotees blocked the young women and police team escorting them at Valiya Nadappandhal, the queue complex located a few metres away from the holy 'pathinettam padi' (the 18 sacred steps), leading to the sanctum sanctorum. The devotees, including senior citizens and children, protested against the entry of women of menstrual age group into the hill shrine.

Tension was defused after the women agreed to return as the state government made it clear it did not want to take them to the Sannidhanam, the temple complex, by using force against the protesting devotees. The firm stand taken by the 'tantri' (head priest) that he would close the temple if the women were escorted into the sanctum sanctorum also persuaded them to return as per instructions of the police.

The devotees have intensified the agitation at the shrine complex and nearby areas including the base camps, Nilackal and Pamba, since the shrine was opened for the five-day monthly puja on October 17.
| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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