Fifty-one “young” women entered Sabarimala after the Supreme Court verdict allowing entry to women of all ages, the Kerala government told the top court on Friday.
The state government disclosed this information while the apex court was hearing a plea to provide security to Kanakadurga and Bindhu Ammini, Malayala Manoramareported. The two women were the first reported to have entered the shrine and offer prayers on 2 January.
In the plea, Kanakadurga, who had reportedly been attacked by her mother-in-law following her entry into the hilltop shrine, had sought security for both the women. The court directed the government to provide adequate security to the two women.
During the hearing, the Kerala government presented the court with a list of 51 women between the age of 10 and 50 who had entered Sabarimala after its verdict, Manorama reported. The list included the names of the women, their age, address, phone number and Aadhaar details. A significant number of the women on the list were in their late forties and from the states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
Former Travancore Devaswom Board president and Congress leader Prayar Gopalakrishan said he would demand footage of these women entering the shrine. “They (the government) must have it, is it enough to claim 51 women have entered?” he told Manorama.
The state unit of Congress has filed a review petition against the SC verdict through Gopalakrishan.
The court was due to hear pleas seeking review of its Sabarimala verdict on 22 January but the hearing may be delayed as Justice Indu Malhotra is on leave.
In its 28 September 2018 verdict, the Supreme Court allowed women of all ages entry into Sabarimala temple. The verdict triggered protests across Kerala by devotees and right wing groups. The Kerala government has been caught in a tussle with the BJP and the state opposition in its attempts to implement the verdict.
(With PTI inputs)