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Ten Andhra Pradesh Women of Menstruating Age Not Allowed to Go to Sabarimala

The Pamba base camp is at the foothills of Sabarimala, about 5 km from the shrine. The Lord Ayyappa temple opened this evening for the two month long Mandala-Makaravillakku pilgrimage season.

PTI

Updated:November 16, 2019, 7:29 PM IST
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Ten Andhra Pradesh Women of Menstruating Age Not Allowed to Go to Sabarimala
An elderly woman on her way to Sabarimala Temple as police personnel stand guard in Pathanamthitta. (File photo: PTI)

Sabarimala: At least ten young women from Andhra Pradesh, who arrived at Pamba on Saturday to offer prayers at the Lord Ayyappa temple here, were sent back, police said.

The women, in the 10-50 age group, were part of a 30-member group from Vijayswada. "After they reached Pamba, police checked their identity cards and found that they were in the barred age group and informed them about the current situation in Sabarimala. They did not proceed further," police said.

The Pamba base camp is at the foothills of Sabarimala, about 5 km from the shrine. The Lord Ayyappa temple opened this evening for the two month long Mandala-Makaravillakku pilgrimage season.

The state and temple precincts had witnessed protests by right wing outfits and BJP workers last year after the LDF government decided to implement the Supreme court's verdict of September 28, 2018 allowing women of all age groups to offer prayers at the shrine. However, this year, even though the top court had not stayed its verdict on entry of young women into the shrine while posting various petitions on the matter to a larger bench, the government was exercising caution.

Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran has made it clear that Sabarimala was not a place for activists to display their activism and said the government would not encourage such women who want to visit the shrine for publicity.

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