Sabarimala row: Kerala government calls all-party meet tomorrow

Thiruvananthapuram: An all-party meeting was convened on Tuesday by the Kerala government, which is set for November 15 to discuss various issues relating to the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala. The shrine witnessed widespread protests following the Supreme Court decision to permit entry of women of all ages into the shrine.

The decision to call the meeting comes on a day when the top court refused to stay its September 28 verdict, lifting the centuries-old ban on girls and women in the 10-50 age group from entering the shrine and decided to hear a batch of review petitions in open court on January 22.

The two-month-long annual ‘Mandala Makkaravillakku’ season will start on November 17 and the meeting will also take stock of the arrangements made for devotees.

The temple had witnessed a string of protests from devotees when it opened for monthly pujas for five days in October and two days early this month.

Over 3,700 persons have been arrested so far and 546 cases registered against various people for violence during protests across the state after the top court permitted women of all ages to pray at the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala.

Over 500 young women registered for darshan in the online queue website of Kerala police last week.

(With inputs from PTI)