Thiruvananthapuram: The young women devotees will have a long way to go before they can worship at the Sabarimala temple peacefully.
The state government will not allow them to proceed to Sabarimala for the moment as the matter has been referred to a larger bench of the Supreme Court.
The decision comes in the wake of the legal opinion given by state counsel Jaydeep Gupta. He has advised the government to wait for the apex court’s larger bench verdict before taking a call on allowing women from the restricted age group to have darshan.
Though there is no stay on the five-member bench verdict of 2018 which allowed the entry of women of all ages in the temple, legal experts say that with many of the crucial aspects of that judgment having been referred to the larger bench, the government should not take a hasty decision.
Devaswom minister Ka-dakampally Surendran’s statement at a press conference earlier in the day reflected the government’s move. The minister hit out at women activists who plan to visit the temple during the Mandala-Makaravilakku season.
“Such announcements are being made to gain publicity and for vested personal interests,” he said.
The minister reiterated his earlier stand that activists are not needed at Sabarimala.
“Sabarimala is not a place for them to show their activism. I stand by my earlier position. Trupti Desais should not use Sabarimala to show their influence to the government,” he said.
“If the women activists want to come to Sabarimala, let them obtain an order from the Supreme Court,” he said and urged the media to exercise caution.
He said the government’s main priority was to ensure a peaceful season. The officials, political parties, religious, social and community organisations have the responsibility to ensure peace at Sabarimala, he said.
Law minister A.K. Balan also reiterated that the government will not facilitate the entry of women from the restricted age group at Sabarimala in the wake of the Supreme Court verdict.