Many "urban Naxals, anarchists and atheists" are visiting Sabarimala Temple only to prove that they have gone to the Lord Ayyapya's shrine and it should be examined if they are true devotees, said Union Minister V Muraleedharan on Sunday, November 17.

"The people who are going to temple now, are urban Naxals, anarchists and atheists. I don't think they are devotees. They want to prove that 'we have gone to Sabrimala Temple.' Whether they are really devotees, it should be examined," said Muraleedharan.

He added that the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government of Kerala is under pressure to maintain the traditions of Sabarimala. "The Supreme Court is yet to take a final decision and the overall mood is that the tradition of Sabarimala should be maintained. The Kerala government is taking steps keeping that in mind and is acting under this pressure," he said.

V Muraleedharan
V MuraleedharanTwitter

Temple re-opening 

The Sabarimala temple opened on November 16 for the two-month-long festival season days after a five-judge Supreme Court bench referred the verdict on the Sabrimala issue to a larger bench. Devaswom Board Minister Kadakampally Surendran on Sunday said that devotees were arriving at the shrine without any fear.

Ahead of the opening of the Sabarimala Temple, Kerala Devaswom Board Minister K Surendran had said during a press conference at Thiruvananthapuram that the state government will not provide protection to any woman visiting Sabarimala temple.

The apex court had in September 2018 had allowed entry of women of all ages into the Sabarimala Temple. Before the verdict, women and girls of menstruating age were barred from entering the Ayyapa shrine.