Naushad Ahmed Khan, the lawyer who is seeking entry for all women and girls in the Sabarimala temple in Kerala, on Friday informed the Supreme Court that he has received 500 threatening phone calls.
Naushad Ahmed Khan, President of the Indian Young Lawyers’ Association (IYLA), said the calls included threats to blow up his house and warned him to drop his petition in the Supreme Court.
Earlier this week, the top court, in response to Mr. Khan’s appeal, said the ban on women worshippers appears to be unconstitutional. Judges said today that they will decide on Monday on what sort of security should be given to Mr. Khan; for now, he has been given a guard by the Delhi Police.
The top court, however, said a PILs could not be revoked and decided to appoint an Amicus Curiae to resolve the case.
The Supreme Court, earlier on Monday had questioned the age-old tradition of banning entry of women of menstrual age group in the temple, saying it cannot be done under the Constitution.
“The temple cannot prohibit entry (women), except on the basis of religion. Unless you have a constitutional right, you cannot prohibit entry. Anyway, we will examine it on February 8,” a bench of Justices Dipak Misra and N V Ramana said.
IYLA President Naushad Ahmed Khan said he had since received over 500 death threats on his cell phone – prompting police to provide him with a personal security guard.
“I have received more than 500 telephone calls, including some calls from international telephone, since Wednesday. These callers are (trying to) force me to withdraw the petition,” Khan said.
“I am the president of the IYLA, and the plea has been filed by the organisation. I have never been personally involved with this petition,” he said, adding that the question of whether the petition would be withdrawn had not arisen.
This is not the first time the Sabarimala temple and its decades-old ban on women has hit the headlines in India.