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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Sabarimala temple row HIGHLIGHTS: Shrine opens amid violent protests, women entry stalled by protesters

Sabarimala temple row HIGHLIGHTS: Security is heightened in Kerala as Sabarimala temple opens for the first time since the historic Supreme Court verdict that allows women of all ages inside the premises. Follow this space to track all the latest news

By: Express Web Desk Written by Vishnu Varma | New Delhi, Pamba | Updated: October 18, 2018 10:51:47 am
Sabarimala Temple row LIVE Sabarimala opens today HIGHLIGHTS: Tensions are running high in Kerala. Express Photo

Sabarimala Temple Row Live Updates: Amid threats of “mass suicides” and disruption, the famous Sabarimala Temple in Kerala opened its doors on Wednesday evening at 5 pm —  including for women devotees of all ages. Tensions are running high in Kerala as the gates to the hill shrine have been opened for the first time since the Supreme Court lifted the age-old entry ban on women in the 10-50 age group.

Read LIVE updates of Sabarimala hartal here

At least one elderly woman was hurt in the violent protests that took place in Nilakkal near the Sabarimala base camp. The police took to lathicharge as protesters pelted stones at those trying to trek to the Sabarimala shrine. The media personnel, including female journalists, present at the site were also attacked and threatened by the protesters who asked them to turn off their cameras and return.

Two women who tried to undertake the 5-km trek from the base camp at Pamba river were forced to return after walking for a few metres.

Sabarimala latest news in Malayalam | Tamil

Earlier today, as devotees made their way to the shrine, the police detained multiple protesters for blocking the pilgrims. Representatives of the Thantri (priest) family and members of the Pandalam Royal family were also detained. The BJP, in a warning to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, said, “The protest will change the face of Kerala.” Kerala BJP leaders also warned of “severe consequences” if the police lathicharge “Hindu devotees.”

In Pictures | Kerala tense as Sabarimala temple opens to women today

Live Blog

Amid series of protests, Sabarimala Temple in Kerala will today allow women devotees of all ages inside the shrine. Follow LIVE UPDATES in Hindi, TamilMalayalam

20:43 (IST)17 Oct 2018
Vehicles vandalised by protesters
20:07 (IST)17 Oct 2018
Protesters blocking entry of women a contempt of court: Sitaram Yechury
19:32 (IST)17 Oct 2018
Photos of devotees outside Sabarimala
19:00 (IST)17 Oct 2018
NCW urges Kerala police to provide protection to women

In light of violent protests against the Supreme Court judgment allowing women to enter the Sabarimala shrine, the National Commission for Women urged the Kerala police to ensure security of women who wish to offer their prayers at the temple. The NCW demanded stringent action against the protesters and also asked DGP Kerala Loknath Behera to submit a detailed action report.

18:39 (IST)17 Oct 2018
WATCH VIDEO: Police vandalise parked vehicles in Pampa
18:32 (IST)17 Oct 2018
WATCH VIDEO: Prayers being offered at Sabarimala
18:30 (IST)17 Oct 2018
RSS-BJP behind the attacks on devotees: Kerala minister EP Jayarajan

Kerala minister EP Jayarajan addressed the media on the issue of violence near the Sabarimala temple on Wednesday, ANI reported. Blaming it on the RSS, he said, 'RSS criminals hid in forests and attacked the Ayappa devotees. 10 media personnel, 5 devotees and 15 policemen were attacked.'

He further said, '10 KSRTC buses were damaged. Devotees from other states were beaten up and sent back. RSS-BJP is behind all of this. Supreme Court rule applies to all, the govt is just following and implementing it.'

18:18 (IST)17 Oct 2018
Reporter slapped, his phone snatched and broken
18:15 (IST)17 Oct 2018
Journalists assaulted, media vehicles vandalised
18:12 (IST)17 Oct 2018
Visuals from the site of protest

(Source: Vishnu Varma)

18:10 (IST)17 Oct 2018
Media vehicles vandalised in protests

A media vehicle stands damaged due to stone pelting by protesters near Nilakkal. (Source: Vishnu Varma)

18:01 (IST)17 Oct 2018
Visuals of the protest near Sabarimala

Police chase away protestors who tried to stop women of menstruating age from going to the Sabarimala temple at Nilackal, a base camp on way to the mountain shrine in Kerala, India, Wednesday. (AP Photo)

17:41 (IST)17 Oct 2018
Section 144 to be imposed tomorrow

Section 144 is to be imposed in four areas - Nillakkal, Pamba, Sannidhanam and Elavumkal - tomorrow, The News Minute quoted Pathanamthitta District Collector PB Nooh as saying. He further said that there would be no obstruction to peaceful pilgrims tomorrow, and permissions will not be granted for any protests whatsoever.

17:26 (IST)17 Oct 2018
Devotees can offer prayers till 10:30 pm today

The devotees can offer prayers at the Sabarimala shrine till 10.30 pm today. The portals will remain open till 22nd October.

17:14 (IST)17 Oct 2018
Sabarimala opens for all

Amidst ongoing protests, the Sabarimala shrine has been opened for monthly rituals.

17:12 (IST)17 Oct 2018
Visuals from Pambaa
16:46 (IST)17 Oct 2018
Sabarimala protests turn violent: Here is what happened so far

Protests intensified Wednesday as the famed shrine of Lord Ayyappa in the Sabarimalatemple in Kerala is set to open its doors to devotees, weeks after the Supreme Court allowed entry to women of all ages.

The agitation against the apex court verdict shifted to Nilackal and Pamba, the two main base camps of Sabarimala, and had turned violent.  Despite the high security and assurances from Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, two women pilgrims were forced to turn back fearing for their safety. Several women journalists were heckled and protesters pelted stones at media vehicles.

Here is what happened so far

16:40 (IST)17 Oct 2018
LDF govt responsible: BJP leader

BJP leader MS Kumar took on the LDF government for its failure to maintain law and order in the state as protests at Nilakkal turned violent. "LDF govt is fully responsible for any law and order situation in the state. It's a very unfortunate situation, we aren't responsible. No BJP worker is involved, we're condemning that attempt," he said.

16:37 (IST)17 Oct 2018
WATCH VIDEO: Journalist in police van, was attacked by protesters
16:35 (IST)17 Oct 2018
Non-bailable FIR against Rahul Easwar, arrested

Map showing Sabarimala shrine and Nilakkal, the base camp where violent protests took place on Wednesday.

Sabarimala temple opens today LIVE Updates:

The Sabarimala temple was once owned by the royal family of Pandalam, and its administration was handed over to the then princely state of Travancore in 1949. The Lord Ayyappa temple has traditionally barred all women of menstruating age considering them as "impure." Ever since the Supreme Court lifted the ban, series of protests have rocked Kerala. The Pinarayi Vijayan government has extended support to the judgment and will not file a review petition.

Read: SC removes gender barrier, throws open Sabarimala to women of all ages

Read: Everything you need to know about the unique temple, its myth and pilgrimage

Heavy security has been deployed as the temple opens today. With chants of "Swamiya Saranam Ayyappa" hailing the Lord, women devotees picketed the road at Nilackal and checked buses and private vehicles for girls and women of the "banned" age group and forced them to abandon their pilgrimage to the shrine which also involved a 6-km arduous hill trek.

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