Sabarimala verdict: Shiv Sena withdraws its call for shutdown in Kerala

The Shiv Sena in Kerala, who had announced a shutdown protesting the Sabarimala verdict, has called off the bandh citing bad weather predictions.
Sabarimala verdict: Shiv Sena withdraws its call for shutdown in Kerala
Sabarimala verdict: Shiv Sena withdraws its call for shutdown in Kerala
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Hours after announcing a shutdown over the Supreme Court's verdict in the Sabarimala case, the Kerala unit of Shiv Sena withdrew its call for a statewide shutdown on Monday. The Supreme Court on Friday had thrown open the Sabarimala temple to women of all ages.

Party's state secretary M.S. Bhuvendran, who alleged that the apex court verdict overlooked the temple traditions and rituals, said the party has called off the shutdown announced earlier in the day. He cited bad weather prediction as the reason for withdrawing the shutdown call. The party also felt the shutdown would affect the ongoing flood relief works in the state, he said.

"Monday's statewide shutdown is in protest against the verdict," Bhuvendran had said earlier, while announcing the bandh.

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-judge bench, gave a dissenting judgment.

Chief Justice Dipak Misra reading out the judgement, also on behalf of Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, said that subversion of women's rights under the garb of a 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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