Pathanamthitta: A 12-year-old girl was stopped from entering the Ayyappa Shrine, Sabarimala on Tuesday (November 19). Kerala Police after checking the girl’s ID at Pamba prevented her from offering prayers at the Ayyappa shrine.

The girl was part of a group that came from Tamil Nadu. She was accompanied by her father and other relatives.

Similarly, at least 10 women of 10-50 age group tried trekking to Sabarimala shrine on November 16, and they too were prevented from entering the shrine.  The women, believed to be from Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh, were on a temple visit in Kerala and Sabarimala was on their list.

Kerala's Sabarimala temple opened for the Mandala Pooja festival on November 16 after the Supreme Court deferred the verdict on the issue.  The Supreme Court on November 14 referred the Sabarimala case to a larger bench after reviewing petitions seeking a rethink of the apex court’s 2018 judgment that allowed women between the ages of 10 to 50 to enter the shrine. The top court also observed that the right to worship by an individual cannot outweigh the rights of a religious group.