Sabarimala : Contempt petitions against head priest, others

Two petitions were filed seeking permission from the Attorney General to initiate contempt proceedings against  the people who prevented the entry of women to the Sabarimala temple in the five days of its monthly rituals this month. The temple was supposed to open its doors to women for the first time after a landmark SC judgement that allowed women of erstwhile barred age (10-50) to enter the temple.

One of the petitions has been filed against the head priest of the temple Kantararu Rajeevaru, who threatened to shut the temple if women enter the shrine, and P. Ramavarma Raja-Chairman of  the Pandalam Palace Trust -who allegedly directed the priest and protested against the entry of all women in the shrine despite the SC ruling,

Another petition has been filed against state BJP President PS Sreedharan Pillai, BJP leader Muraleedharan Unnithan K and actor Kollam Thulasi. In a controversial remark, Kollam, who is also a member of the BJP, had said that women who try to enter Sabarimala should be ripped apart. “One half should be sent to Delhi, the other half should be sent to Kerala Chief Minister,” he said. He later apologised for his remarks.

The contempt of court petition stated, “There is clear case of scandalizing and lowering of authority of this Hon’ble Court by interfering and obstructing with the administration of justice by resisting the implementation of judgment of this Hon’ble Court,”

While the ruling CPM has decided to follow the Supreme Court verdict and not appeal for a review, the opposition Congress and BJP in the state have sided with the protesters and are seeking a review. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan held his ground even as protests intensified and warned stern action against those who prevented women from entering the temple.

The Sabarimala temple opened for a 5-day monthly puja on October 17, first time after the SC order. On September 28, the Supreme Court struck down the provisions of The Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorization of Entry) Rules, 1965 that banned women aged 10-50 from the temple. However, the order could not be implemented as protesters managed to block entry to at least 12 women.

Also read : BSNL transfers activist Rehana Fathima, who almost made it into Sabarimala