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RSS stopped women from entering Sabarimala, turned shrine into war zone: Kerala CM

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Kochi: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday pinned the blame on the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) for chaos and protests outside the Sabarimala Temple and held it responsible for preventing the women in the age group of 10-50 from entering the holy shrine.

Vijayan, while maintaining that the state government did its best to implement the Supreme Court order which allowed women of all ages to enter the holy shrine, said that the RSS turned the temple into a ”war zone” during the brief period the famed Lord Ayappa temple was opened for the pilgrims.

”Kerala government made it clear in front of the Supreme Court that it will implement the verdict. The government arranged all facilities. Neither the government nor the police tried to block the devotees. The RSS tried to make Sabarimala Temple a war zone,” Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan told ANI.

 

”Protesters tried to check vehicles, attacked women devotees and media persons. It was the first time in the history of Kerala that this type of attitude was shown towards the media,” the CM said.

The remarks from Vijayan came hours after the sanctum sanctorum of the famed temple was closed around 10 PM on Monday – the day that saw five women making an unsuccessful effort to pray at the hill temple, where tradition had barred women aged between 10 and 50.

Since Wednesday, Kerala had been on the boil after the temple opened for its customary monthly pujas, the first time after the September 28 verdict by the top court which overturned a centuries-old practice that barred women of menstrual age from entering the hill temple.

Celibate deity Lord Ayyappa is worshipped at the Sabarimala temple where the last pilgrim went up the hill around 7 PM on Monday.

None of the dozens of women who tried to have a darshan in the last five days succeeded in entering the temple for prayers as thousands of devotees were determined not to allow them.

The police appeared most relieved for the time being as they had a tough time in trying to implement the apex court`s orders in the face of strong protests which at times turned violent.

Te revered Hindu temple is set to open again on November 17.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Tuesday set November 13 as the date for hearing a large number of petitions seeking a review of the top court verdict that allowed entry of women of all ages in Sabarimala Temple.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice SK Kaul had considered the submissions of lawyer Mathews J Nedumpara on Monday that his petition seeking review of the constitutional bench judgement be listed for urgent hearing.

Nedumpara was mentioning the petition filed by National Ayyappa Devotees Association.

A five-judge constitution bench by a ratio of 4:1 had held that women of all age groups should be allowed entry inside Kerala’s Sabarimala Temple.

The court had on October 9 declined an urgent hearing on Nedumpara’s plea which had contended that the five-judge Constitution bench verdict lifting the ban was “absolutely untenable and irrational”.

The bench had said that the review petitions could only be taken up after the Dussehra vacation, adding that in any case, it will be heard in chamber and not in open court.

The petition filed by Shylaja Vijayan, president, National Ayyappa Devotees Association through Nedumpara, had submitted that, “Faith cannot be judged by scientific or rationale reasons or logic”.


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National

Ayodhya on high alert following intelligence inputs

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Ayodhya: Amid VIP movements, Ayodhya has been put on high alert soon after intelligence inputs indicated a possible terror attack in the city.

“We have put more force into action. The force has been alerted. Also, intelligence officials in the civil dress have come here. They are checking all hotels, restaurants and railway stations. The police force is vigilant and keeping a track of all the movements,” Anil Kumar Sisodia, Superintendent of Police City, told ANI.

This comes ahead of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s visit to Ayodhya on Sunday along with his party MPs.

 

According to reports, the security has also been heightened keeping in mind the hearing on 2005 Ram Janmabhoomi attack on June 18.

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National

Seven died while cleaning hotel sewer in Vadodara

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Vadodara: Seven persons, including four sanitation workers, died due to asphyxiation on Saturday while cleaning sewer of a hotel in Gujarat’s Vadodara district, officials said.

The incident happened at a hotel in Fartikui village in Dabhoi tehsil, about 30 km from Vadodara city. Three employees of the hotel were also among those killed.

“When one sanitation worker failed to come out of the manhole, others went inside. All of them died due to asphyxiation,” district collector Kiran Zaveri told PTI.

 
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Manmohan retires from Rajya Sabha

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New Delhi: For the first time in 28 years, former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s name ceased to be part of the list of members of the Rajya Sabha on its Web site, and was included in the list of former members of Parliament.

With the Congress lacking the numbers in the Assam legislature to ensure his re-election, 86-year-old Dr Singh retired from the Rajya Sabha.

Dr Singh, then finance minister in the P V Narasimha Rao government, had debuted in the House on October 1, 1991, from Assam and represented the state for five consecutive terms. He was the leader of the House during his 10 years as PM, and leader of the Opposition from 1998 to 2004.The former PM would now need to wait for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, an ally of the Congress, to send him to the Rajya Sabha next month or until the next biennial elections in the Upper House in April 2020 when 54 MPs retire.

 

Five Rajya Sabha members from Tamil Nadu retire in July. The DMK, along with its allies, has the strength in the state legislature to get at least three elected to the Rajya Sabha. It has promised one seat to MDMK chief Vaiko.

However, sources said the DMK and the Congress have not had any discussions on the issue.

The Congress could also hope to send Dr Singh to the Upper House from Gujarat if elections to fill the two vacancies from the state take place together.

The vacancies are on account of two Bharatiya Janata Party Rajya Sabha members from Gujarat, Amit Anilchandra Shah and Smriti Zubin Irani, being elected to the Lok Sabha. Shah has debuted in the Lok Sabha from Gandhinagar while Irani is the Lok Sabha member from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.

The Congress’s numbers in the Gujarat assembly would ensure the party wins one of the two seats, the other going to the BJP, if elections to the two seats are held jointly.

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