Pathanamthitta: Kerala's Sabarimala temple opened for the Mandala Pooja festival today after the Supreme Court deferred the verdict on the Sabarimala issue. Women of all age groups will be allowed to enter the temple, however, no protection will be given to the women, he said.

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 bench was split on the issue with Justices Nariman and Chandrachud differing from the three other judges. The court observed that the entry of Muslim women in mosque, Parsi women case and Dawoodi Bora case are similar to issues in Sabarimala review case. 

Meanwhile, with the two-month long annual pilgrimage season set to commence from November 16, Devaswom minister Kadakampally Surendran said Sabarimala was not a place for activism and the LDF government would not support those who make announcements about entering the hill shrine for the sake of publicity.

Women rights activist Trupti Desai, who has been a vehement critic of the restriction on the entry of women of a certain age group, said she will be visiting the temple after November 20 regardless of whether or not she is provided security cover.

Dismissing reports that police would provide security to women activists who attempt to enter the shrine, he said there was “some confusion” over the latest Supreme Court order and women desirous of visiting Sabarimala should get a “court order”.

Government would not encourage those women who want to visit the shrine for publicity, he added.