New Delhi: The Supreme Court on September 28 in its verdict had sanctioned entry of women of all ages into the Sabarimala shrine in Kerala. The Congress, BJP and other Hindu organisations from south India launched protests demanding that the state government file a review petition against the verdict.
However, the Supreme Court on Tuesday (October 9) declined the hearing on an appeal seeking review of its verdict on Sabarimala temple.

A bench including Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph had considered the submission of National Ayyappa Devotees Association president Shylaja Vijayan through lawyer Mathews J Nedumpara, which battled the five-judge Constitution bench verdict holding the ban as "absolutely untenable and irrational".

The National Ayyappa Devotees Association's lawyers also sought a stay on the verdict and said the temple would be opening on October 16 for pilgrimage. However, the bench said that the review petition could only be taken after the Dussehra vacation.

Disturbed by protests from opposition parties like BJP, Congress and other organisations against the SC verdict in the state, the ruling CPI(M) in Kerala on Tuesday (October 9) launched 'Vishidhikarnam' (explanatory) meetings with the participation of women.

The leader of the Janadhipatiya Mahila Association P Sathi Devi said the state government has the duty to implement the top court verdict permitting women of all ages to worship at the Sabarimala temple.

Meetings were held to explain the government's stand on the issue and steps taken by it to implement the Supreme Court verdict, which was inaugurated at Pathanamthitta district's Pandalam by the CPI(M) central committee member PK Sreemathy.

Volunteers from Kudumbashree, women's empowerment and poverty eradication programme of the Kerala government, have also been brought in for the meetings organised in different places for ensuring 'equal justice' to all women.

Meanwhile, Kerala's Devaswom minister Kadakampally Surendran said the government was with the believers and understood their sentiments.

"We will not allow anyone to unleash violence in the name of devotees," said the minister, adding the government will not go in for any confrontation.

The BJP should take a long march to the Parliament in New Delhi and not to Thiruvananthapuram, he said.

An important halting place for devotees en route to Sabarimala at Erumeli, independent MLA PC George in the state Assembly, began a fast on Tuesday (October 9) morning to safeguard the traditions of the shrine.

Nonetheless, the devotees have also begun to collect signatures from believers, which will be submitted to President Ram Nath Kovind.