Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government has changed its stand on the number of women who entered the Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala after the Supreme Court overturned a traditional ban on the entry of women of menstruating age.
The number, which was earlier stated to be 51, has now been revised to two.
Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran made the revision while responding to questions raised by legislators K Muraleedharan, Eldhose P Kunnappillil, AC Balakrishnan and Anil Akkara in the Assembly on Monday.
The figure is mentioned as per the report submitted by the Devaswom Executive Officer. The minister added that the Supreme Court had not suggested arranging additional security for female pilgrims visiting the temple.
On January 18, the state government had submitted a list of 51 names to the Supreme Court. Much to the embarrassment of the state government, this list was found to contain the names of women older than 50, and men as well.
The list was submitted when the apex court was hearing the petitions of Bindu and Kanakadurga, two women in their 40s who made headlines by visiting the shrine in the wee hours of January 2, a day after the Left Democratic Party held the ‘Women’s Wall’ protest. Both women had approached the court seeking security.
The list was said to be compiled on the basis of online registrations via the virtual queue. Following reports of errors in the list, a panel headed by the chief secretary had carried out an enquiry to come up with a fresh set of names, omitting 34 from the earlier one.