Thiruvananthapuram: The BJP will continue to stand by devotees opposed to the entry of all women to the Sabarimala temple, Kerala BJP President P.S. Sreedharan Pillai said on Sunday.

Pillai also announced a series of protests to ensure that Sabarimala's uniqueness -- keeping away women in the age group of 10 to 50 -- was kept intact.

The temple closed after five days of monthly puja on October 22. It will now open at 5 p.m. on November 5 and close the next day at 10 p.m.

"We will be in full strength and will support the devotees' wishes when the temple opens on the 5th," Pillai told the media.

"The situation in Kerala is worse than the Emergency days," he said. "People are being arrested at midnight just because they protested in a peaceful manner, fighting for the rights of the devotees of Lord Ayyappa."

An estimated 3,345 protesters who prevented women from entering the Sabarimala temple have been arrested since October 26 while 517 cases have been registered at various police stations across the state.

Pillai said that across the country there were many temples dedicated to Lord Ayyappa but the temple at Sabarimala was unique.

He said he would stage a day-long protest outside the office of the Kerala Police chief. A 'rath yatra' will start from a temple in Kasargode on November 8 and reach Pathanamthitta - where the Sabarimala temple is located -- on November 13."

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