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The Supreme Court today directed the State of Kerala to provide adequate security to the two women who had entered the Sabarimala Temple on January 2.
The petitioners – Bindu A and Kanaka Durga – fearing violence from protesters, had sought round-the-clock police protection, among other prayers.
The Bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices L Nageswara Rao and Dinesh Maheshwari observed that ensuring the protection of these women was the state’s responsibility.
“They should be given adequate security and you’re responsible for their life and security”, CJI Gogoi said.
The Bench disposed of the petition, stating that the Court was not inclined to entertain any other prayers. At this point, counsel for the petitioners Senior Advocate Indira Jaising sought to get this petition tagged with the review petitions filed in the case.
However, the Court reiterated that the petition stands disposed of, and that it would not look into other issues raised in the petition besides the question of protection to the petitioners.
Apart from 24/7 police protection, the petitioners had sought action against protestors indulging in violence, both physical and mental, and on social media.
The other prayers included a direction from the Court to the state authorities to allow women enter the Sabarimala Temple without any hindrance. It was also prayed that the ‘purification’ rite carried out at the Temple after the entry of women be dispensed with, as it diminishes the dignity of women as human beings and violates their fundamental rights under Articles 14, 15, 17, 21 and 25.
Kanaka Durga and Bindu Ammini had entered the Sabarimala temple on January 2, triggering outrage and leading to widespread protests in the State. The committee appointed by the Kerala High Court to monitor the pilgrimage and administration of Sabarimala temple in Kerala, had in its report, stated that the two women who entered the temple on January 2 passed through a door which is not open for “ordinary devotees and other persons”.
Earlier this month, a contempt petition was filed in the Supreme Court calling into question the ‘purification process’ carried out at Sabarimala after women between the ages of 10-50 entered the Temple.