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Nearly 550 young women register for Ayyappa Darshan Queue in Sabarimala

Nearly 550 young women have registered with the Kerala police digital queue for darshan at Sabarimala during the coming Mandalapooja-Makaravilakku season, indicating the trend among a section of women enthused by the Supreme Court verdict and the state government stand in support of women’s rights.

The number is in stark contrast to the fewer than 10 women in the 10-50 age group who had made a vain bid to reach Sannidhanam earlier. The police still have no clear-cut strategy in ensuring the safety of young women, whose numbers might go up.

The number is minuscule compared to the total of about 3.10 lakh people who have already registered on the digital queue system. However, it assumes significance as the Supreme Court will hear a set of review petitions on women’s entry to the hill shrine on November 13.

“The BJP-RSS and other outfits opposing young women’s entry at Sabarimala were so far citing the few turnouts of such women when Sabarimala temple opened earlier this week and last month. Hence the interest shown by about 550 women, that too in ten days after the digital queue booking was opened, could counter that stand,” said sources.

Meanwhile, there were apprehensions that the safety of the women would be at risk if their identity was leaked out. However, police sources said that the digital queue system maintained by the police computer centre is secured using digital technology.

Though chief secretary Tom Jose had convened a meeting of senior police officers on Sabarimala security on Friday, it was postponed. Meanwhile, the Pathanamthitta police released the pictures of about 150 persons who had indulged in protests and tried to block a woman at Sannidhanan on Tuesday. The forest department has decided to enhance the security of the ghat roads leading to Sabarimala.

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