The protests against the Supreme Court verdict allowing women of all ages to enter to the Sabarimala temple and the LDF government’s decision to implement it in haste without filing a review petition continued on Wednesday with rallies, marches and roadblocks organized by various Hindu organisations, including Hindu Aikya Vedi in different parts of the state.
Devotees, including a large number of women, squatted on the road at different places, chanting “Protect the rituals of Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala”.
Four protest marches were organised to the Vyttila junction in Kochi from Ponnurunni, Nettoor and Maradregions.
These marches converged at the Vyttila junction and joined the blockade on national highway between 11 am and 12 pm. Thousands of Ayyappa devotees staged a blockade at Naduvilal junction in Swaraj Round in Trissur.
The protesting Hindu organisations have blocked the roads in 200 places across the state. The NSS(Nair Service Society) has conducted NaamajapaYatra and also pledged that the Nair families would abide by the rituals at the Sabarimala temple.
A minor scuffle was also reported between the protestors and the general public at Aluva and Muuvatupuzha in Ernakulam district. A group of BJP activists showed black flags to Kerala Devaswom minister Kadakampally Surendran at Kazhakootam near here, leading to tension for some time.
A protest rally by BJP-led NDA began from Pandalam in Pathanamthitta district and would end in front of the Secretariat here with a demonstration on 15 October.
BJP state president PS Sreedharan Pillai, who is leading the march has alleged that the LDF government has declared a war against the believers in the state. He said that the LDF government is trying to divide Hindus to “defeat” the movement of Lord Ayyappa devotees against the government’s decision to hurriedly implement the Supreme Court order.
Pillai said the party was with the believers and alleged the government was trying to destroy the hill shrine. In the state capital, a huge rally was taken out under the auspices of the Nair Service Society (NSS).
Meanwhile, a two-day meeting of Travancore Devaswom Board that manages the Lord Ayyappa temple would take stock of preparations for the upcoming Mandala-Makkaravillaku festival, beginning 17 November.
Surendran said the government would ensure necessary facilities for devotees visiting Sabarimala. He said there was no point in launching agitations against the government as it was only implementing the apex court order on the matter.
The Congress, BJP and various Hindu organisations have launched protests demanding the state government file a review petition against the verdict.
But, the Left government has maintained that it would not go in for a review of the ruling. The apex court in its verdict on 28 September had allowed entry of women of all ages into the Sabarimala shrine.