Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan confirmed that two women entered the Sabarimala temple and added that the police provided them enough protection. “It is a fact that two women entered the temple. Earlier their trekking was held back to inadequate security. Police are duty-bound to give them protection” said the CM.
The women — Bindu (42), a CPI (ML) activist from Kozhikode district and Kanakadurga (44), said to be a civil supplies employee from Malappuram — claimed to have begun their climb around midnight and reached the temple at 3.45 am, according to reports. There was no media glare and very few devotees were around at the time, which facilitated the women’s quick visit. They also released a video of their visit to the temple.
Traditionally, women in the menstruating age group of 10-50 years were barred from offering prayers at the shrine, the presiding deity of which is “Naishtika Brahamachari” (perennial celibate). More than a dozen women had made unsuccessful attempts to trek the hill and offer prayers at the Sabarimala shrine during the Mandalam season.
Reports said both came in an ambulance and police discreetly made arrangements for them. The women have also released pictures of them worshipping at the temple.
— ANI (@ANI) January 2, 2019
“I don’t think it is true…They might have done that in absolute secrecy. Once we know, we will take appropriate action,” said Rahul Easwar, activist and leader of the Ayyappa Dharma Sena.
The President of the Travancore Devasom Board, which runs the temple, A Padmakumar said he came to know about it through media reports. He said the board will examine CCTV visuals.
Sabarimala shrine has been closed on orders of the head priest Kandararu Rajeevaru here on Wednesday. The decision comes shortly after two women in the barred age group successfully completed their pilgrimage to the hilltop shrine. Sabarimala priests had earlier famously threatened that the rituals would be stopped if women in the menstrual age group enter the shrine of Lord Ayyappa. The hilltop shrine has been closed for ‘Shuddhi Kalasham’ (purification rites), according to reports.