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Sabarimala temple opens for 5 days amidst tight security

Sabarimala (Kerala): Even as the Supreme Court is looking into numerous review petitions on its September 28 verdict on entry of women into Sabarimala temple, the temple opened amidst tight security at 5 p.m on Tuesday for the five-day-long Kumba pooja functions.

Speaking to the media, the chief priest of the Sabarimala temple, V.N. Vasudevan Nampoothiri, said that all of them expected the apex court to come out with a verdict before the temple opens on Tuesday.

The apex court, which heard the review petitions on February 6 and gave time till Wednesday to those who need to give in writing if there are any more issues that should be brought before the court, before it gives its ruling.

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The temple town has witnessed protests by Hindu groups since September 28 when the Supreme Court delivered the verdict allowing women of all ages to enter the temple, including those from the hitherto banned age group of 10 to 50 years.

Incidentally, this is first time since the verdict came that prohibitory orders have not been clamped.

But the administration is leaving nothing to chance and has posted close to 2,500 police officials at various places in and around the temple town.

Had it not been for the verdict, during the monthly opening of the temple, there would have been only around 50 police personnel.

However, the Sabarimala Karma Samithi activists, who have been in protest mode since the verdict, chased away a large number of women who tried to pray at the temple and vowed that they would not allow temple traditions to be broken.

State Devasom Minister Kadakampally Surendran informed the Kerala Assembly last week that so far only two women in the hitherto banned age group have offerd prayed at the temple.

However, speculations are there that quite a few “women” will arrive to pray at the temple before it closes for the month on February 17 at 10 p.m.

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