Pune: Women’s rights activist Trupti Desai has said that she will visit the Sabarimala temple after November 20 regardless of whether or not protection would be provided by the Kerala government. 

She said, "I will go to Sabarimala after November 20. We will seek protection from the Kerala government and it is upto them to give us protection. Even if not provided with protection, I will visit Sabarimala for the darshan."

Ahead of the opening of the Sabarimala Temple, Kerala devaswom board minister Kadakampally Surendran had on Friday (November 15) said the state government will not provide protection to any woman visiting the temple and those who need protection should get an order from the Supreme Court.

He also asserted that activists like Trupti Desai should not see the shrine as a place to show their strength.

"If she needs police protection, she should get an order from the Supreme Court," he told reporters at a press conference in Thiruvananthapuram.

The Supreme Court on Thursday (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 in the Tower of Silence and Dawoodi Bora case are similar to issues in Sabarimala review case.

The apex court, by a majority verdict of 4:1, on September 28, 2018, had lifted the ban that prevented women and girls between the ages of 10 and 50 from entering the famous Ayyappa shrine in Kerala. They held that this centuries-old Hindu religious practice was illegal and unconstitutional. 

The review petitions challenged the authority of the apex court to intervene in the belief of the people. It argued that the temple deity is a "Brahmachari" (celibate) and "centuries-old beliefs" should not be disturbed by the entry of menstruating women worshippers.