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Sabarimala row HIGHLIGHTS: No consensus on filing review petition

Sabarimala row LIVE updates: The meeting between the TDB and the royal family has been concluded and rescheduled on October 19.

By: Express Web Desk Written by Vishnu Varma | Erumeli (kerala), Kochi, New Delhi |
Updated: October 16, 2018 6:14:07 pm
In poll-bound Telangana, BJP promises free rides to Sabarimala, liquor curbs Sabarimala row LIVE updates:  The temple will open for a monthly ritual  on Thursday.

The Travancore Devaswom Board, which manages the temple, and the royal family of Pandalam have failed to reach an agreement over filing a review petition against the Supreme Court’s verdict allowing women to enter the Sabarimala temple. President of the managing committee of the Pandalam palace Sasikumar Varma said that the royal family urged the temple board to file a review petition, failing which they walked out of the meeting as their demands were not met.

“We’re upset that they’re unwilling to discuss it today. Meeting wasn’t satisfactory,” said Varma.  The said meeting has been scheduled on Friday, and the next course of legal action would be discussed, including the review petition.

The royal family of Pandalam along with the family of the thantri (priest) Monday expressed willingness to attend the meeting. Earlier the Board had accepted the apex court’s order, however, amid the outcry, it has diluted its stand.

Board president and CPM leader A Padmakumar had said the board is torn between the to court’s order and the agitation raised against it protecting temple traditions.

Live Blog

Sabarimala row LIVE: Earlier the Board had accepted the apex court's order, however, amid the outcry, it has diluted its stand.

16:39 (IST)16 Oct 2018
Tension mounts as devotees stop women from travelling to Sabarimala

Devotees on Tuesday stopped vehicles at Nilackal - the main gateway to Sabarimala- and prevented women of the "banned" age group from trekking to the holy hill, as tension loomed ahead of the opening of the Lord Ayyappa Temple tomorrow for monthly pooja. The shrine located on the mountain ranges of the ecologically fragile Western Ghats opens tomorrow for the first time after the recent Supreme Court order permitting women of all age groups there, reports PTI. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, however, told reporters that no one would be allowed to block devotees from proceeding to Sabarimala.

14:25 (IST)16 Oct 2018
Sabarimala temple connection to Christianity

There is a Christian connection, too, to the temple. A large number of devotees visit the Arthunkal church dedicated to St Andrew and St Sebastian at Alappuzha on their way back from Sabarimala. At the church, many of them remove the sacred beads they wear around their neck through their 41-day fast. Ponds at the church are cleaned weeks before the annual pilgrimage begins. 

(Source: WikiMedia/Challiyil Eswaramangalath Vipin/Chalakudy)

14:04 (IST)16 Oct 2018
Lok Sabha MP urges Centre to bring ordinance banning women entry

Lok Sabha MP Anto Antony, who represents Pathanamthitta constituency, under which the Sabarimala hill shrine falls, urged the Centre on Tuesday to issue an ordinance to find a way around the Supreme Court's order lifting the ban on women restricted to enter the temple. While in Erumeli, Antony attended a dharna organised by women's outfits of Congress, Indian Union Muslim League and Kerala Congress (M) in protest against the Supreme Court verdict.

He told PTI, "The Sabarimala temple will open for monthly pooja tomorrow evening. We all are very concerned. This time, the centuries' old pilgrimage to Sabarimala, which is a festival of all faiths, is in the shadow of conflicts. Unfortunately, I haven't got any response from the Prime Minister so far." He also said the apex court's ruling has met with opposition from everyone including people of different faith.

13:40 (IST)16 Oct 2018
Temple board and royal family fail to reach consensus over filing review petition

Travancore Devaswom Board and the Pandalam royal family have failed to reach a consensus. President of the managing committee of the Pandalam Palace Sasikumar Varma, said that the board could not commit to the demands of the royal family to file a review petition against the top court's order, reported Indian Express. 

"We're upset that they're unwilling to discuss it today. Meeting wasn't satisfactory.We came out of meeting because they're not ready to accept our demands," said Varma, as quoted by ANI. 

TDB President A Padmakumar said that the Board would meet again on Friday to decide the next course of legal action, including the review petition against the apex court's verdict on allowing women to enter the Sabarimala temple.

13:35 (IST)16 Oct 2018
Watch: Male devotees begin dancing in Erumeli
13:29 (IST)16 Oct 2018
Rain lashes in Erumeli, important halting point for pilgrims
13:22 (IST)16 Oct 2018
Devotees halt before Sabarimala trek

On their way to Sabarimala, a group of Ayyappa devotees halt at Erumeli for lunch

12:48 (IST)16 Oct 2018
ICYMI: Hindu activist Rahul Easwar had vouched to guard temple for 125 hours

Hindu activist and a member of thantri family Rahul Easwar who has been at the forefront of the campaign against the Supreme Court verdict had written on Twitter a few days back.

12:28 (IST)16 Oct 2018
Travancore Devaswom Board (Temple board) starts meeting
12:11 (IST)16 Oct 2018
People rally on bikes from Pandalam ayyappa temple to Nilakkal

(Source: Express photo by Vignesh Krishnamoorthy)

11:55 (IST)16 Oct 2018
Temple opens for monthly ritual tomorrow, CM Vijayan assures safety to pilgrims
11:43 (IST)16 Oct 2018
Vavar mosque in Erumeli, important halting point for pilgrims

Here's the popular Vavar mosque in Erumeli, an important halting point for pilgrims going towards Sabarimala, Vavar is believed to be a Muslim warrior and a close associate of Lord Ayyappa. Different stories exist about the close friendship between Lord Ayyappa and Vavar. There is also a shrine dedicated to Vavar close to the main temple complex at Sabarimala.(Source: Express photo by Vishnu Varma)

11:39 (IST)16 Oct 2018
Kerala Vellala Mahasabha community conducts protest meeting against SC's order

Another protest meeting is being conducted by Kerala Vellala Mahasabha community in Erumely, which include Kerala BJP leaders as well, Indian Express reported. 

11:33 (IST)16 Oct 2018
Women, journalism students pulled out of buses near Sabarimala

Women have been pulled of state-run KSRTC buses by a group of people at Nilakal, near Sabarimala, reported Indian Express Malayalam. TV visuals show three of these women were wearing black dresses, usually worn by Ayyappa devotees. It has been further reported that some of the women pulled out of the bus are students of journalism who expressed their intention to travel till Pampa, the base camp of the hill shrine.

11:23 (IST)16 Oct 2018
Govt will ensure facilities to devotees to go to Sabarimala temple and offer prayers: Kerala CM

In the midst of protests, Chief Minister  Pinarayi Vijayan reiterated that government will not submit a review petition against the Supreme Court's verdict. Speaking in favour of the top court's order, he said, the state government would not allow any person to take law and order in their hands. "The government will ensure facilities to devotees to go to Sabarimala temple and offer prayers," said CM Vijayan.

11:14 (IST)16 Oct 2018
Devotees protest at Pandalam Ayyappa temple

Express photo by Vignesh Krishnamoorthy

(Source: Express photos by Vignesh Krishnamoorthy)

11:01 (IST)16 Oct 2018
Mahila Congress organises meeting in Erumeli against entry of women in temple

The Mahila Congress has organised a corner meeting in Erumeli against the top court's order, one of the crucial halting points in the pilgrimage, Indian Express reported. 

10:51 (IST)16 Oct 2018
Pilgrims arrive in Pampa
10:30 (IST)16 Oct 2018
All you need to know

In a 4-1 verdict, Supreme Court on Septemeber 28 put an end to a centuries-old custom, restricting women into the Sabarimala temple. However, a bench of five judges, led by the then Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Justice Indu Malhotra gave a dissenting order stating “the religious practice of restricting the entry of women between the ages of 10 to 50 years is in pursuance of an ‘essential religious practice’” and “notions of rationality cannot be invoked in matters of religion by courts”. Read more| SC removes gender barrier, throws open Sabarimala to women of all ages

Justice Chandrachud said “the postulate of equality is that human beings are created equal… To exclude women from worship by allowing the right to worship to men is to place women in a position of subordination. The Constitution should not become an instrument for the perpetuation of patriarchy.

Ever since the apex court's judgment, Kerala has witnessed major upheavals. Kerala BJP yesterday concluded the five-day long rally against the implementation of the Supreme Court's verdict. Following state government's refusal to file review petitions against the apex court's order, BJP, Congress and Hindu outfits protested in the state, disrupting normal life.

Earlier this month, some organisations had filed review petitions seeking review of the apex court's order, which the court had declined to hear.  Meanwhile, Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan maintained his stand that his government would abide by the top court's order and cannot backtrack from its affidavit.

“The government does not want to clash with the faithful. At the same time, the government will not succumb to the attempts of the politically motivated forces who want to foment tension in society. The government will go ahead in upholding the reformative tradition of the state,’’ he said.

Who filed the case?

A group of five women lawyers had moved the apex court after the Kerala High court upheld the centuries-old restriction, and ruled that only the “tantri (priest)” was empowered to decide on traditions. The top court heard the matter for eight days, reserving the judgment in July. 

10:05 (IST)16 Oct 2018
ICYMI: Kerala unit of Shiv Sena warn to commit mass suicide if women try entering temple

While the TDB is torn between the top court's order and agitation by Hindu activists, Kerala unit of the Shiv Sena warned Saturday to commit mass suicide if women dared to enter the temple. A member of the Sena informed, as quoted by a news agency, that women activists would gather near the Pamba river on October 17 and 18 as part of a suicide group and if any woman attempts to enter the temple, activists would commit suicide. 

Sabarimala: Everything you need to know about the unique temple, its myth and pilgrimage Hindu organisations aim to block women from the three places leading to Sabarimala,Pampa, Nilakkal and Erumeli.

Kerala has been on the boil ever since the Supreme Court lifted the ban on women's entry in the Sabarimala temple and various Hindu organisations are preparing to stop women from entering the temple when it opens on Wednesday.

Hindu organisations aim to block women at Pampa, Nilakkal and Erumeli -- the three places leading to Sabarimala,

Hindu activist and a member of thantri family Rahul Easwar who has been at the forefront of the campaign against the Supreme Court verdict, said the agitation would be peaceful. "We will not physically restrain any woman. The women would have to walk over our bodies to reach the temple," he said.

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