Local tribals ‘deeply hurt’

Tribal people gathered in large numbers on Tuesday to protest against the State government’s decision to implement the Supreme Court order permitting women of all age groups to offer worship at the Sabarimala temple. Uthaman, leader of the Malampandaram tribe at Laha, told The Hindu that denial of entry into the temple for women in the menstruating age has been a practice at Sabarimala for many years. The tribespeople of Sabarimala Poonkavanom are deeply hurt by the government move to break the practice, he said. “Ayyappa is our own forest deity. We are ready to give up our lives for him, if the situation so warrants. Protection of the abode of Lord Ayyappa as well as the age-old custom and practices there are our prime concern,” said a tribeswoman. A large number of women from the Attathode tribal colony, the second largest tribal settlement in the State, are participating in the ‘Namajapa yajna’ at Nilackal demanding protection of the custom and practices at Sabarimala. Suicide attempt A woman attempted suicide in protest against the government move by hanging herself on a rubber tree at a plantation adjoining the venue at Nilackal on Tuesday. Timely intervention by the police prevented the tragedy. Indications are that the government and the Travancore Devaswom Board will face tough challenges in the coming days as the temple opens on Wednesday afternoon for the five-day monthly rituals in the Malayalam month of Thulam that begins on Thursday.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/local-tribals-deeply-hurt/article25243084.ece

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