The familiar pattern of protests and violence returned to the Sabarimala temple premises once again as two young women under the age of 50 attempted to climb the hill and offer prayers earlier on Wednesday.
Reshma Nishant and Shanila Sajesh, who had earlier announced their intentions to enter the temple after the landmark Supreme Court verdict, began the trek around 4 am from the base camp of Pampa with police protection. But when a group of male pilgrims, returning from the temple, identified them, protests rang out.
Within no time, hundreds of pilgrims gathered at Neelimala en route the temple, vowing that they would not be allowed to go up any further. In the face of strong protests, the police had to retreat, along with the two women.