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'Sabarimala Shouldn't be Made a War Zone': Congress Launches Protest Against SC Verdict

The party accused the RSS-BJP and the state government of 'cheating' Hindus and being hand-in-glove with the LDF government on the issue.

PTI

Updated:October 5, 2018, 7:21 PM IST
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'Sabarimala Shouldn't be Made a War Zone': Congress Launches Protest Against SC Verdict
File photo of devotees at the Sabarimala temple. (PTI image)
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Thiruvananthapuram: The Congress on Friday launched a protest demanding the filing of a review petition against the Supreme Court verdict permitting women of all ages to enter the Sabarimala temple.

The party's protest comes close on the heels of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) launching agitations, criticising the LDF government for not filing a review petition against the verdict.

Inaugurating the Congress' protest at Pathnamthitta, which saw participation from a large number of women, opposition leader in the state assembly Ramesh Chennithala alleged that the RSS-BJP and the state government were 'cheating' Hindus.

Sabarimala should not be made into a "war zone", said Chennithala as the Congress hardened its stand against the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala. He also said that the LDF government had initiated "hasty" steps to implement the apex court's order. "There are many other court orders which are yet to be implemented," he said.

Chennithala, who had asked the Centre to bring in a law to overturn the apex court verdict, alleged that the BJP and its ideological mentor the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) were hand-in-glove with the LDF government on the issue.

Meanwhile, Communist Party of India (Marxist) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the party would not take any special initiative to take people to the Lord Ayyappa temple. Those who wish to go there can go, he said in an article in 'Deshabhimani', the party mouthpiece.

Kodiyeri also termed as "nonsense" the BJP's charge that CPI(M) was trying to "suppress" the faith of the believers.

The verdict has put an end to women being treated as second class citizens, he said, adding that instead of being shocked, a willingness to initiate practical steps to implement the verdict was required. "This is what the Pinarayi Vijayan government is doing", he said.

As the hill shrine will be opened for the monthly poojas on October 16 for the first time after the SC verdict, Kerala Police is gearing up to post more of its women personnel at the temple in anticipation of the influx of women devotees in the light of the verdict.

DGP Loknath Behara has written to his counterparts in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Puducherry, seeking women police personnel from their states for deployment at the temple.

Opposition BJP's feeder organisations — Yuva Morcha and Mahila Morcha — had organised agitations in the last two days against the government decision not to file a review petition. On October 28, a five-judge constitution bench, headed by then Chief Justice Dipak Misra, lifted the ban on the entry of women of menstrual age into the shrine.

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