Sabarimala verdict: Shiv Sena calls for 12-hour Kerala shutdown on October 1

Shiv Sena has alleged that the SC verdict overlooked the age-old temple traditions and rituals.

Sabarimala verdict: Shiv Sena calls for 12-hour Kerala shutdown on October 1

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala unit of Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena has called for a 12-hour shutdown in Kerala on October 1 to protest the Supreme Court verdict allowing women of all ages to enter the famous Sabarimala temple in the southern state.

The call for bandh was given by Shiv Sena state secretary MS Bhuvendran, who alleged that the verdict overlooked the age-old temple traditions and rituals.

"The Sabarimala temple has been following certain traditions much before the Indian Constitution came into being. These traditions are being followed by thousands of its devotees. Such traditions cannot be looked down upon as it hurts the sentiments of the devotees," Bhuvendran said.

"Monday's state-wide shutdown is in protest against the top court verdict," he added.

In a related development, the Pandalam Royal Family, which has an integral role in the affairs of the Sabarimala temple, is learnt to have begun legal consultations to file a review petition against the apex court verdict.

The Pandalam Palace is the custodian of Sabarimala temple jewels.

In a majority 4:1 judgement, the top court also read down the provision of Kerala laws that protected the prohibition and said it could not be covered under practices essential and integral to religious practice.

Justice Indu Malhotra, the only woman judge in the five-judges bench, gave a dissenting judgement.

Chief Justice Dipak Misra reading out the judgement, also on behalf of Justice AM Khanwilkar, said that subversion of women's rights under the garb of physiological phenomenon cannot be allowed.

Meanwhile, state police chief Loknath Behra said on Saturday that a lot of work has to be done about welcoming women devotees in the upcoming festival season that begins in November.

"Special arrangements have to be worked for separate queues for women and all such issues concerning women devotees," said Behra.

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