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500+ women, aged between 10 & 50, apply for Sabarimala visit  2 Days ago

Source:   Times Of India  

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In just under a week since online booking began for the upcoming annual festival at Sabarimala, 539 women aged between 10 and 50 have registered for darshan even as those opposing the historic Supreme Court verdict allowing the entry of women of that age group to the shrine are expected to step up protests when the temple opens again on November 16.

A total of 3.5 lakh people have so far registered for darshan. Police have imposed fresh restrictions on pilgrim movement, including a controversial one that mandates every vehicle coming to Sabarimala to obtain a police pass from the place of its origin.

Similar to the digital crowd management system that allows authorities to ascertain the number of pilgrims coming to the temple, the police passes are ostensibly meant for maintaining a database of vehicles reaching the temple during the peak season.

When the temple opened for six days in mid-October and for two days early in November, police had to face a major law and order situation when several women aged between 10 and 50 tried entering but failed due to violent protests by right-wing organisations.

According to police sources, if SC upholds its verdict allowing women between 10 and 50 to pray at temple, while considering the review petitions on November 13, the situation is likely to worsen this time, considering the number of women who are bound to come as well as the number of days the temple will be open.

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