Breaking! Tension at Sabarimala Temple

18 October, 2018, 07:26 | Author: Angel Logan
  • Mob attempts to block first entry of women of menstruating age to sacred Hindu temple

A family of four from Andhra Pradesh state, including at least one woman, were shielded by police carrying sticks after protesters shouting slogans prevented them from reaching the temple.

She was provided security by the police to climb the hills but was forced to return after protests.

In September, India's Supreme Court lifted the temple's centuries-old ban on women between the ages of 10 and 50, who were barred because they could potentially be on their periods. While she was being taken to the station, a man also kicked her on the spine while some others clicked her pics and videos on mobile phones.

Hindu devotees wait in queues inside the premises of the Sabarimala temple in Pathanamthitta district in the southern state of Kerala, India, October 17, 2018.

The National Commission for Women is now holding a meeting in order to decide on its future course of action.

Angry anti-women protesters at Kerala's Sabarimala temple have reportedly vented their ire on journalists who were covering the Sabarimala protests. The protesters alleged that they had resorted to stone-throwing in retaliation after the policemen hurled stones at them.

Police personnel were deployed at Pamba, Nilakkal and Erumeli, three important landmarks on the route to Sabarimala.

Taking full control of Nilackal, police also warned against those who creating hurdles for pilgrims.

The protesters also include many women - they have participated in rallies, blocked roads and checked vehicles heading towards the temple to see if they contain women between 10 and 50.

Charged by a freshly formed pro-Hindu organization "Acharya Samrakshna Samithi" (Organisation to protect rituals), thousands of protestors have laid siege to Pamba and Nilakkal, the base camps for the hilltop shrine respectively 5 km and 20 km away, over the last 24 hours.

"Anyone who wants to go to the temple will be able to do so without hindrance", said police chief Manoj Abraham. At Pamba, police took into custody 83-year-old Devika Antharjanam, wife of Kandararu Maheshwararu, the chief priest of Thazhamon tanthri family.

Crew of various TV news channels were asked to leave the place. Madhavi then reportedly made a decision to return.

Courts had earlier directed officials at the Hindu temple Shani Shingapur and the Muslim Haji Ali shrine, both in the western state of Maharashtra, to allow women inside.

Congress workers staged a satyagraha and prayer meet at Nilackal expressing solidarity with the devotees staging the Namajapa Yagnom, or prayer protest.

"The Sabarimala issue should not be allowed to flare up".

Groups of women devotees including senior citizens, clad in traditional sarees, had stopped each and every vehicle at Nilackal Tuesday. Today they turned violent, attacking journalists, including women, who were there to do their jobs.

On Wednesday morning, Loknath Behra said there was a very strong police presence in and around Sabarimala.

The closest any woman in the 10-50 age bracket could reach was a point near the holy Pamba river from where pilgrims have to trek almost 6km uphill to the shrine.

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