Sabarimala verdict: Shiv Sena calls for Kerala shutdown on Monday

Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 29 The Kerala unit of Shiv Sena on Saturday announced a statewide shutdown on Monday to protest the Supreme Court verdict throwing open the Sabarimala temple to all women.

Party’s state secretary M.S. Bhuvendran alleged the verdict overlooked the temple traditions and rituals.

“The Sabarimala temple has been following certain traditions much before the Indian Constitution came into being. These traditions are being followed by thousands of its devotees. Such traditions can not be looked down upon as it hurts the sentiments of the devotees,” said Bhuvendran.

“Monday’s statewide shutdown is in protest against the vedict,” said Bhuvendran.

In a related development, the Pandalam royal family, which has an integral role in the affairs of the Sabarimala temple, is learnt to have begun legal consultations to file a review petition against the apex court verdict.

The Pandalam Palace is the custodian of Sabarimala temple jewels.

In a majority 4:1 judgment, the top court also read down the provision of Kerala laws that protected the prohibition and said it could not be covered under practices essential and integral to religious practice.

Justice Indu Malhotra, the only woman judge in the five-judges bench, gave a dissenting judgment.

Chief Justice Dipak Misra reading out the judgment, also on behalf of Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, said that subversion of women’s rights under the garb of physiological phenomenon cannot be allowed.

Meanwhile, state police chief Loknath Behra said on Saturday that a lot of work has to be done about welcoming women devotees in the upcoming festival season that begins in November.

“Special arrangements have to be worked for separate queues for women and all such issues concerning women devotees,” said Behra.
(IANS)

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