MALAPPURAM: Kanakadurga and Bindu Ammini, who entered the Sabarimala temple in Kerala recently has said, a total of five young women had darshan at Sabarimala so far.
In a press conference held here on Sunday, the duo claimed that they have visual evidence for the same.
"Three women other than us had entered at the Sabarimala temple. We have visual evidence to prove that. We entered the temple on our personal beliefs and we will visit the temple again”, Kanakadurga said.
On February 4, Kerala Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran had said the government has confirmation about only two women in the age of 10-50, who entered at the Sabarimala temple.
“There was no confirmation on the age of a Sri Lankan woman who visited the temple in January”, he had said.
On January 18, Kerala government had submitted a note to the Supreme Court and informed the top court that as many as 51 women have entered the Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala since the apex court allowed women of all age groups to enter the hill shrine.
“Over 16 lakh devotees have done the online registration for 'darshan' in the Sabarimala temple and out of this 8.2 lakh have visited the shrine. A total of 7,564 women between the age of 10 and 50 have registered for darshan,” the government had informed the apex court.
The Kerala government had made the submission in the SC while hearing the plea filed by Bindu and Kanakadurga, seeking 24x7 security as their life under threat after visiting the temple.
“As per the records around 51 women in this group have already visited the shrine and had darshan. This doesn't include who have come as normal pilgrims and not make use of the online facility”, the Kerala government’s submission read.
Hearing the plea of two women- Bindu and Kanakadurga, who entered the Ayappa shrine on January 2 amidst protest against the entry of women of menstruating age, the Apex Court had directed the Kerala Police to provide adequate security to two women.
The Kerala government had informed the apex court that it was providing full security to the two women.
"if so, continue to do the same even after our order”, the top court had said.
On September 28, the five-judge bench headed by former Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra lifted the entry ban on women in the temple, saying the centuries-old custom at the shrine was not an essential religious practice and “the attribute of devotion to divinity cannot be subjected to the rigidity and stereotypes of gender”.
On January 2, Kanaka Durga (44) and Bindu Ammini (42) came to limelight and made history by becoming the first women below 50 in decades to enter the hilltop shrine after the epic verdict of the apex court of the nation.
The tantri Kandaru Rajeevaru had closed the sanctum sanctorum to perform the 'purification' ceremony after confirming the young women entry.
Violence involving the BJP-RSS and the ruling CPI(M) rocked parts of Kerala during the January 3 hartal.
Meanwhile, protests broke out across the state with agitators pelting stones and blocking the national highways and forced closure of shops and markets located various parts of the region.
Following threats by protesters, the two women had gone into hiding for almost two weeks after entering the hill shrine, they had been staying in an undisclosed location on the outskirts of Kochi.
Later, both of them came before the public in the recent ' AArppo Aarthavam' programme organised by some activist groups in Kochi to ‘celebrate menstruation’ on January 13.
Recently, Bindu and Kanakadurga had received a death threat letter saying that they would be harmed for entering the shrine.
On January 15, Kanakadurga reached home and had been attacked by her mother-in-law. She alleged that as she tried to enter the house, her mother-in-law refused and beat her with a wooden rod on her head.
She had sustained a minor injury and admitted to a hospital in Perinthalmanna. The cops had registered a case based on her complaint under sections 341 and 324 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against her mother-in-law.
The case has been posted to March 11 for further hearing.