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Tuesday, Oct 22, 2019

2 Kerala women who entered Sabarimala to get 24X7 security: Supreme Court

Following threats by hardline groups Bindu Ammini, 40, a law lecturer at Kerala’s Kannur University and Kanakadurga, 39, a civil servant, had gone into hiding for almost two weeks after entering the hill shrine.

india Updated: Jan 18, 2019 13:55 IST
Bhadra Sinha
Bhadra Sinha
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Bindu Ammini (R) and Kanakadurga (L), the two women who entered Kerala’s Sabarimala Ayyapa temple, have moved the Supreme Court seeking police protection.
Bindu Ammini (R) and Kanakadurga (L), the two women who entered Kerala’s Sabarimala Ayyapa temple, have moved the Supreme Court seeking police protection.(AFP)
         

The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Kerala government to provide round-the-clock security to two Kerala women who entered Sabarimala earlier this month defying traditionalists opposed to females of menstruating age offering worship at the hill shrine

The two Bindu Ammini (40) and Kanakadurga (39), fearing for their lives, had petitioned the top court seeking security.

“Having heard the lawyers we deem it appropriate to close this petition at this stage by directing Kerala to provide round the clock. Beyond the above we do not consider it necessary to go into any other issues.”

Hailing the order, Ammini said, “Our faith in judiciary has increased manifold. The judiciary has come to our rescue at a time when certain sections of the society are treating us as criminals as if we committed a big sin. We did only what is permitted by the highest court of the country. The latest directive will encourage many other women to trek to the temple.”

She said that after their entry, they were forced to go in hiding and the latest order of the Supreme Court will help them lead a normal life. “We were facing many threats. Even our children and relatives were not spared.”

The top Court rejected the plea of two women to tag their matter with the review petitions.

The Kerala government told court it was providing full security to the two women. At this the court said, “if so, you continue to do the same even after our order.”

Following threats by hardline groups, the two women had gone into hiding for almost two weeks after entering the hill shrine. But when Kanakadurga returned home on January 15, she was attacked by her mother-in-law and landed in hospital with injuries.

The two had moved the top court on Thursday citing threat to life after. Senior advocate Indira Jaising appeared before a bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi and requested an urgent hearing, saying it was a matter of life and liberty for the two women.

The plea sought a court direction to all authorities to allow women of all age groups to enter the temple without any hindrance and to ensure security and safe passage, including police security to women wishing to enter the temple.

A Supreme Court bench had in September ordered the shrine’s doors to be thrown open to women of all ages, overturning a decades-old ban on the entry of female devotees of childbearing age, imposed on grounds that the presiding deity, Lord Ayyappa, is a celibate.

The court order enraged traditionalists, who won the support of both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party in their fight to keep women in the taboo age group out of the temple.

Protestors foiled the entry of women aged below 50 years into Sabarimala until Kanakadurga and Bindu Ammini, with a police escort, entered the shrine.

Their entry sparked widespread unrest in Kerala. Fearing a backlash, the two women stayed in an undisclosed location under state protection for almost two weeks.

First Published: Jan 18, 2019 10:09 IST

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