Sabarimala verdict: Anxiety grips Kerala

Team Udayavani, Nov 13, 2019, 6:54 PM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: Political parties, right-wing outfits and devotees in Kerala are keeping their fingers crossed as the Supreme Court is set to pronounce on Thursday its verdict on pleas seeking review of its decision to allow entry of women of all age groups in the Sabarimala Temple.

The southern state had witnessed high drama and protests by devotees and right wing activists last year against the CPI(M)-led LDF government’s decision to implement the top court’s order.

The verdict was also crucial for the LDF government, led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, as the beginning of the annual pilgrimage season at Sabarimala is just three days away.

The portals of the hill shrine, located in a reserve forest in Western Ghats in Pathanamthitta district of the state, would be opened for the two-month-long Mandalam Makaravilakku season on November 16 evening.

Vijayan had on Saturday taken stock of the preparations being carried out by various departments to ensure a hassle-free pilgrimage.

DGP Loknath Behara has said there will be tight security during the pilgrimage season.

Over 10,000 police personnel will be deployed in phases in and around the Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple during the two-month long pilgrimage season.

The apex court, on Thursday, will deliver its judgment on as many as 65 petitions, including 56 review petitions and four fresh writ petitions and five transfer pleas which were filed after its verdict sparked violent protests in Kerala.

A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had reserved its decision on February 6 after hearing various parties including those seeking re-consideration of the September 28, 2018 judgment.

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