Devotees brave rain to offer prayers at Sabarimala

Devotees brave rain to offer prayers at Sabarimala
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Braving rains, thousands of devotees offered prayers at the Lord Ayyappa temple here on Sunday, the second day of the annual two-month-long Mandala- Makaravilakku puja pilgrimage season.

Sabarimala : Braving rains, thousands of devotees offered prayers at the Lord Ayyappa temple here on Sunday, the second day of the annual two-month-long Mandala- Makaravilakku puja pilgrimage season.

After chief priest A K Sudheer Namboothiri opened the sanctum sanctorum at 3 a.m and performed special poojas including 'Neyyabhishekam' among others, the hill shrine was thronged by large number of devotees throughout the day.

Police Control room officials said a total of 25,125 footfalls were recorded till 5 p.m on Sunday.

"Arrangements were fine, but the rain was unexpected. Many including children got drenched," a devotee from Andhra Pradesh told PTI.

Though the apex court did not stay its earlier order allowing entry of women in the Lord Ayyappa temple, at least 10 women, part of a 30-member group from Andhra Pradesh were sent back from nearby Pamba on Saturday as they were found to be in the age group of 10-50 years.

Kerala Law Minister A K Balan on Sunday said there was a "de facto" stay of the September 28, 2018 apex court order allowing women of all ages to enter Sabarimala temple and the state government could act only on the basis of the court's verdict.

"In this case, a constitutional government can act only according to the orders of the court. Now we have a new problem.

The question was whether the verdict of November 14 stayed the earlier order. De jure there is no stay.... but de facto there is a stay.

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