A woman activist from Kerala has approached the Supreme Court seeking direction to ensure “safe passage” for women irrespective of age and religion who wish to visit the Sabarimala temple.
She claimed in her application that the Kerala government “has openly taken a stand in defiance of the” top court’s November 28, 2018, “judgment” lifting age restrictions on entry of women to the shrine.
Bindu said she was the first woman to visit the temple following the 2018 judgment. The visit had led to protests and the Supreme Court had in January this year ordered round-the-clock security for her and another woman.
She said she had again decided to visit the shrine on November 26 along with activist Trupti Desai and others, but taxi drivers refused to take them. Thereafter she went to lodge a complaint with police, but “was attacked in front of the office of the Commissioner of Police, Ernakulam District, Kerala”, the petition claimed.
Bindu said “some chemical substances having burning sensation over the body was sprayed at her face” but the “police failed to act in time or to give her adequate protection”.
She added that she “is being attacked by some unlawful elements wherever she goes and the State Government has completely failed to give her adequate protection”.
The plea claimed that “the situation is same for any woman aged between 10-50 who wanted to visit Sabarimala, as there is an atmosphere of fear and lawlessness en route Sabarimala”.
Bindu contended that she “believes that faith, religion, custom all are always below other Fundamental Rights” and that “no one has the right to question her faith”. She added that she “is motivated by Dalit identity to fight for Constitutional values like gender equality, fraternity etc”.
Her petition claimed that the recent SC judgment keeping the review petitions against the 2018 order pending had not in anyway varied the 2018 directions and the state government cannot ignore them “by giving its own interpretation”.