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Prohibitory orders in Sabarimala can't be withdrawn: Ker govt

Press Trust of India  |  Thiruvananthapuram 

The LDF government in Thursday made it clear that the prohibitory orders imposed at the temple cannot be withdrawn now, even as the 'Satyagraha' by three opposition UDF MLAs at the state Assembly against the curbs, entered its fourth day.

The lawmakers--V S Sivakumar (Congress), Parakkal Abdullah (Indian Union Muslim League) and N Jayaraj (Congress-Mani)-- had launched the indefinite 'Satyagraha' on December 3 demanding lifting of prohibitory orders at and providing more facilities to the pilgrims.

said in the Assembly that the CPM-led government was not adamant in facilitating the entry of young women at the hilltop temple and it would not have been difficult to take thousands of such women there, if it had really wanted.

He was replying to a question on the issue raised by independent MLA and Janapaksham leader,

government was bound to implement the September 28 verdict permitting women of all age groups into the Lord Ayyappa shrine, Surendran said, adding they had no plan to bring out any legislation regarding the entry of women of traditionally barred age group of 10-50 years there.

Amid a war of words with opposition members, Surendran informed the House that Section 144 imposed at Sannidhanam (the temple complex) and the premises was not against devotees, but to regulate "anti-socials" who attempted to indulge in violence.

Referring to the incidents of alleged violence unleashed by the right-wing activists in the garb of protesting against the implementation of the verdict, the said the "RSS had run riot in Sabarimala" and the restrictions were to ensure that such incidents were not repeated.

"Pilgrims have not faced any hardship due to the invoking of Section 144 so far. It is not against devotees, but only to regulate anti-socials. There is no way to withdraw the prohibitory orders now," Surendran said.

He rejected the UDF charge that the government had interfered in the functioning and powers of the (TDB), the apex temple body which manages the

Regarding the controversy over awarding the 'annadanam' (free meal) contract at Sabarimala to an Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) outfit, he said cutting across political lines, several individuals and outfits had been contributing rice and provisions for the scheme.

"The TDB cannot take into account while accepting rice for annadanam," he said.

The also reiterated the government's stand that the 'tantri' (hereditary head priest) of the was one among over 6,000 employees of the TDB.

"The tantri can act only in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Board," Surendran added.

of Opposition sought P Sreeramakrishnan's intervention to end the MLA's 'Satyagraha', for which the latter gave assurance.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, December 06 2018. 15:35 IST