A day after 10 women from Andhra Pradesh were sent back without offering prayers at the Lord Ayyappa temple, a 12-year-old girl from Puducherry on Tuesday (November 19) was stopped by the police in the mid-way while trekking up the hill shrine.
According to ANI, the police after checking the girl’s ID proofs at Pamba, barred her from proceeding forward to offer prayers. She along with her father and relatives came to offer prayers at the Sabarimala on Tuesday.
The age of the girl, with “irrumudikettu” (offerings to Lord Ayyappa) had been shown as 10 in the virutal Q booking. Women police examined the girls aadhar card and found that she was 12 years old and refused to allow her to proceed further from Pamba to the shrine complex, police said.
After those accompanying the child were informed about the current situation in Sabarimala, her father and other relatives proceeded to the temple. Supporting the shrines tradition, a nine-year-old Keralite girl, who came to the temple complex from Karnataka on Monday, had a placard around her neck inscribed with the words “Ready to wait. Will visit the shrine after attaining 50 years.” Hailing from Thrissur, Hridyakrishnan said she had visited the shrine thrice and would have darshan of Lord Ayyappa only after she reaches 50.
The Sabarimala shrine opened for the annual pilgrimage season on November 16 evening. However, the Supreme courts’ verdict of September 28, 2018 allows women of all age groups to offer prayers at the shrine. The top court had not stayed its verdict on entry of young women into the shrine while posting various petitions on the matter to a larger bench, the government was exercising caution.
(With inputs from agencies)