Trivandrum: Kerala Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran on Monday said in the State Assembly that the government has confirmation about only two women in the age of 10-50, who offered prayers at the Sabarimala temple.
Surendran said that there was no confirmation yet on the age of a Sri Lankan woman who visited the temple in January this year.
On January 18, Kerala government in a note to the Supreme Court had said that 51 women between 10 and 50 years of age entered the Sabarimala temple following the verdict of the top court.
“Over 16 lakh devotees have done the online registration for 'darshan' in the Sabarimala temple and out of this 8.2 lakh have visited the shrine. A total of 7,564 women between the age of 10 and 50 have registered for darshan,” the government had informed the apex court.
“As per the digitally scanned records around 51 women in this group have already visited the shrine and had darshan, without any issue. This doesn't include many others who have come as normal pilgrims and not availed the online facility. A total number of 44 lakh pilgrims visited the temple from November 16, 2018, till date,” a note of Kerala Police chief had stated.
Hearing the plea of two women who entered the Ayappa shrine on January 2 amidst ensuing protest against the entry of women of menstruating age, the Supreme Court had directed the Kerala Police to provide adequate security to two women, Bindu and Kanakadurga.
Nearly four months after the top court’s verdict allowing women of all ages to enter the temple, the two women aged below 50 entered the Lord Ayyappa temple to offer prayers. After their entry, a purification process took place in the temple, while violent protests broke out across the state with agitators pelting stones and blocking the national highways.
On September 28 last year, the apex court lifted the ban on the entry of women aged between 10 and 50 years into the Lord Ayyappa shrine in Sabarimala.