Kerala government has no interest in taking women to Sabarimala: Devaswom minister Kadakampally Surendran
The shrine is not a place to show activism, the minister said, a day after police officers deployed at Sabarimala told DGP Loknath Behera that they will not be able to extend security to activists
A day after police officers deployed at Sabarimala told DGP Loknath Behera that they will not be able to extend security to activists attempting to enter the hill shrine, Kerala Devaswom minister Kadakampally Surendran on Thursday said that the state government has no special interest in taking women to the hill shrine.
The minister emphasized that the government is not scared of the "goons creating problems" at Sannidhanam, and many women would have visited the temple by now had the government wanted.
He was speaking to media after the Manadalakaala-Makaravilakku pilgrimage season assessment meeting with Devaswom board officials.
Ever since the verdict, around three dozen women from the child-bearing age group have tried and failed to have a darshan of Lord Ayyappa at Sabarimala following protests. On Sunday, 11 women devotees from Tamil Nadu were sent back in the face of steep protest.
"The hill shrine is not the place to show activism," Surendran said.
Coming down heavily on the violent-protesters, the minister said women of all ages now have the right to enter Sabarimala as ruled by the apex court. Nobody can dispute that.
He expressed confidence that the people of Kerala will not support the violent protestors and will come to a rational conclusion.
The government ensured proper facilities for the devotees during the ongoing pilgrimage season although it was struggling to recover the state from the impacts of the flood.
Accusing the BJP of turning Sabarimala into a war zone, Surendran said the saffron party shifted its agitation from Sabarimala to Secratariat in Thiruvananthapuam after it failed to divide the people with the women's entry issue.
The temple town has witnessed protests by right-wing groups since the September 28 Supreme Court verdict that allowed women of all ages to enter the temple, including those from the hitherto banned age group of 10 to 50 years.