Kerala Govt Revises Sabarimala List, Says 'Not 51, Only 17 Women of Menstrual Age Entered Temple'
Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government has revised the list of women of menstruating age, who entered Sabarimala temple after the Supreme Court overturned a centuries-old traditional ban last year.
The CPI(M)-led LDF government had earlier submitted an affidavit in the top court, claiming that 51 women of menstrual age had entered the hill shrine during the annual pilgrimage season.
According to a report in Manorama, a panel headed by Chief Secretary Tom Jose revised the list and brought down the numbers to 17.
It stated that the Pinarayi Vijayan government now admits that 30 women on the list were above the age of 50. Four men were also named on the list. These 34 names have been now removed. The revision was initiated after first list drew flak following reports that several women in the list were above 50. Names of some men also figured in the list.
The panel, which also included the additional chief secretary (home) and the state police chief, reached the conclusion that the erroneous numbers were the result of undue haste and lack of alertness in drawing up the list submitted to the Supreme Court.
A High Court-appointed panel also said the number of young women arriving at Sabarimala cannot be estimated accurately, the Manorama report stated.
The panel submitted in the court that it will take an year to organise additional facilities at Sabarimala once young women too undertake the pilgrimage.
The panel report was submitted in response to petitions filed by Reshma Nishant and other young women, who had attempted to visit Sabarimala, but were forced to return because of protests during the Mandalam season.
The panel said devotees use the traditional path and the Swami Ayyappan Road to reach the Sannidhanam from Pamba. “This is a steep climb. More primary facilities and drinking water need to be made available as young women also join the pilgrimage. Additional police security is also needed,” the panel said in its report.