Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the state government would implement the Supreme Court verdict allowing women of all ages to enter the Sabarimala temple. He also explained that a separate law would not be made for Sabarimala.

“The government had clarified in the affidavit that men and women have equal rights. The government had even demanded to form an expert committee in the issue. However, the court concluded that such a panel is not required. The government had implemented the verdict in 1991 as well. We will not file a review plea. I can’t say that on behalf of the Devaswom board,” said the chief minister.

When the ongoing protests were pointed, the chief minister said that the government will not allow anyone to take law into their own hands. "No one has the right to keep a check on those visiting Sabarimala. If such an event is noted, strict action will be taken against them. The government will ensure everything possible for the protection of devotees,” he added.

The government is trying to settle the Sabarimala issue through the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB). As part of this, the discussion with representatives invited by TDB will be held on Tuesday. Tantris (temple priests), representatives of Pandalam royals and organisations related to Sabarimala temple will attend the discussion.

The Travancore Devaswom Board, which is responsible for running the temple, held a meeting on Tuesday, October 16,  with the tantri (supreme priest), Pandalam’s erstwhile royal family and other stakeholders, in an attempt to move ahead with the process of implementation. The Board may ask the Supreme Court for some time to implement its verdict. According to sources, the temple board may cite poor infrastructure as the reason for seeking more time from the apex court.

Women devotees and journalists said they were being stopped at the base camp in Nilakkal from proceeding towards the Sabarimala shrine of Lord Ayyappa. The protesters stopped the cars and buses heading through the traditional routes that lead to Sabarimala temple to check if any woman is headed towards the controversial Kerala shrine. 

Some women alleged that they were dragged out of the vehicles and blocked from going further. The protesters, who have been camping at the Nilakkal base camp en route the hill shrine, stopped women from proceeding further to Pamba.