Sabarimala temple open but angry protesters, not rule, keep women out


The entry of women at Sabarimala was long taboo but was formalised by the Kerala High Court in 1991, a ruling overturned by India's Supreme Court last month.

"None will be stopped nor will anyone be allowed to take law into their hands".

"Latest I've heard is that he's been arrested, and earlier, three women cops who were trying to enter beyond Pamba and while inquiring, as Kerala CM had said no women constables would go beyond Pamba, he questioned them". They were successful in guarding her even though the the crowd tried to breach the protective circle of police personnel.

BJP Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday attacked the right-wing Hindu outfits for opposing the entry of women into the revered Sabarimala temple in Kerala despite the Supreme Court order allowing women of all ages to enter the famous hill shrine. However, TDB, which manages over 1,200 temples in the state, including the Lord Ayyappa Temple, said talks with the stakeholders would continue to find a solution.

Ten minutes into their trek, accompanied by a strong police force, the family had to abandon their plans of praying to the Lord Ayyappa inside the temple premises accompanied by Madhavi, who is in the prohibited age group of 10-50.

The protesters also stopped two women government health officials who were heading for a routine meeting at the temple.

During the day, demonstrators clashed on four occasions at Nilackal and Pamba with the police, leaving some protesters and police personnel injured. He said that various devotee forums would chant prayers and not protest.

Thousands of party activists had marched to the state Secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram on October 15 against the LDF government's decision to implement the court verdict disregarding sentiments of devotees. Most of the attacks began in the form of "vehicle checks" by protesters to ensure that young women are not inside.

Meanwhile, 7 protesters have been arrested for creating ruckus.

Although the couple had said that they would go only up to Pamba and not climb Sabarimala, the activists prevented them.

Television pictures showed men surrounding and hitting a auto that appeared to contain a woman journalist, while another reporter was shown being encircled and shouted at while on air.

The Network of Women in Media, India, denounced the attacks.

The shrine located on the mountain ranges of the ecologically fragile Western Ghats opens later in the evening for the first time after the recent Supreme Court order.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, facing a tough time tackling the highly emotive religious issue which has also acquired political overtones, issued a stern warning to those who dared block devotees from entering the temple. On Tuesday, devotees took to the streets to "screen" vehicles and prevent girls and women between the ages of 10 and 50 from visiting the holy Hindu shrine.

The Shiv Sena recently warned of "mass suicides" if women of menstrual age were allowed into the temple.