The Supreme Court on Friday ruled that advocate Bindu and civil supplies employee Kanakadurga, the two women below 50 years who entered Sabarimala temple on 2 January, should receive 24x7 police protection. The Court ruled that the state government should be responsible for providing security to the two women. The appeal for 24x7 security was made by Kanakadurga, who had been attacked by her mother-in-law when she returned home two weeks after visiting Sabarimala.
A bench comprising of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Justices Nageshwar Rao and Dinesh Maheshwari heard the plea.
The plea was opposed by several pro-Ayyappa, anti-women entry, groups who said the Court must not accept Bindu and Kanakadurga’s plea when it came up for hearing. The Court also rejected the plea that Bindu and Kanakadurga’s plea should be heard along with the 49 other review petitions on the Sabarimala issue in the Supreme Court on January 22.
Bindu and Kanakadurga through senior advocate Indira Jaising also sought a direction to ensure the temple did not carry out purification rituals after the entry of women between the ages of 10 and 50 years, which the SC rejected. They further sought directions from the Court to concerned authorities to allow women of all ages to enter the temple safely without any opposition or obstacles.
Bindu and Kanakadurga had been living in various unnamed locations after entering Sabarimala temple on January 2. They told TNM that they had done so in order to let the tumultuous law and order situation to settle before they returned home on Monday. Kanakadurga had been hospitalised on Tuesday after her mother-in-law attacked her with a wooden plank to the head upon her return. Kanakadurga had previously told reporters that she did not have her family’s support in making the trek to Sabarimala temple.