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IUML members rally in support of Sabarimala devotees against SC ruling

Massive protests with women in large numbers have been held across Kerala in protest of the 28 September verdict.

SNS | New Delhi |

Members of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) took out a rally on Tuesday in support of those protesting against the Supreme Court verdict allowing women to enter the Sabarimala shrine.

News agency ANI posted pictures showing IUML members walking with the party flag in Changanassery, a municipal town in Kottayam district of Kerala, in support of the protesters.

Massive protests with women in large numbers have been held across Kerala in protest of the 28 September verdict.

The IUML had previously supported calls for a review petition on the apex court verdict which ruled that women of all ages will be allowed to enter the shrine.

The party, which is a member of the United Democratic Front (UDF) alliance in Kerala, had also urged other member parties to come together in support of the opposition to the verdict.

On 4 October, the IUML national general secretary PK Kunhalikutty told reporters that the previous UDF Government had filed an affidavit to maintain the sanctity of the hill shrine.

Kunhalikutty said that it is the stand of the state and Central governments following the court verdict that has created an even bigger problem for Ayyappan devotees.

Calling for respect of beliefs of devotees, the IUML cautioned that other faiths may have to face similar problems in the future.

On the same day, a Nair community organisation called Nair Service Society (NSS) had announced its decision to file a review petition, which it did on Monday, 8 October.

On Tuesday, 9 October, the Supreme Court rejected an urgent hearing on a plea seeking review of its verdict stating that “it will be listed in due court”.

Read More: Supreme Court declines early hearing of Sabarimala review plea

According to reports, a three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph considered the plea calling the five-judge Constitution bench decision of lifting the ban “absolutely untenable and irrational”.

The court also said that the plea will be heard in chamber and not in open court.

The SC had on 28 September, in a 4:1 ruling, scrapped the ban on the entry of women devotees in the Sabarimala temple in Kerala, stating that women were equally entitled to enter and worship in the temple.

The then Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra observed, “Right to worship is given to all devotees and there can be no discrimination on the basis of gender.”

“Religion can’t become cover to deny rights,” the court observed.

But Justice Indu Malhotra who presented a dissenting opinion said, “The court should not interfere in matters of faith”.

Read More: Supreme Court scraps Sabarimala temple ban on entry of women

“Equality must be seen with the rights of worshippers,” she added.

Justice Indu Malhotra further stated that the present judgment will not be limited to Sabarimala and that it will have wide ramifications.