Alappuzha: The Sabarimala pilgrimage season beginning on Sunday may not pass smoothly with many young women determined to have darshan of Lord Ayyappa and the Hindu fringe groups vowing to block them.
The Supreme Court order on Thursday referring the review petitions to a larger bench has not made things easy for the government as there is no stay on last year’s order allowing young women to worship at Sabarimala.
Pathanamthitta district collector P. B.Nooh said that though no prohibitory orders had been clamped so far, the situation will be reviewed later if there were security issues.
Meanwhile, ‘Navodhana Keralam Sabarimlayil-ekku,’ a Facebook group under which many women, including Kanakadurga, Bindu Ammini and Manju, offered prayers last year, has extended its help to women willing to go to Sabarimala this time.
Sreyas Kanaran, one of the administrators of the Facebook page, said many women, especially from Andhra Pradesh, wanted to visit the temple.
He had accompanied Reshma Nishanth and Shanila Sajesh from Kannur, who made two unsuccessful attempts for darshan last time.
He said though the young women had tried to offer prayers, the police had treated them as trouble-makers.
However, many Hindu fringe groups have warned young women against going to Sabarimala.
Pratheesh Viswanath of Hindu Helpline, who was charged with many criminal cases for violence against women on the temple premise last season, took to Twitter to challenge the court order.
“There are confusions abt #SabarimalaVerdict. Doesn’t matter whether court stay is there or not, our stay on breaking tradition exists. 1st batch of our warriors left to Sabar-imala. (We) will guard the shrine till the end. (We) won’t let urban Nax-als enter. No confusion on it” (sic), he said. Pandal-am palace managing committee chairman P. Ramavarma Raja asked the go-vernment to exercise restraint following the order.
“If young women are allowed to go to the temple in the intervening period, what will happen if the larger Bench comes up with a reverse verdict,” he asked....