Sabarimala row: Two more women stopped from entering shrine, say they were ‘unaware of customs’

The incident came four days after the gates of the shrine opened for the first time following the Supreme Court ruling allowing women of all age groups to enter it.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: October 21, 2018 7:51:43 pm
Kerela has been witnessing massive protests by Lord Ayyappa devotees opposing the apex court's verdict. (Express file photo) Kerela has been witnessing massive protests by Lord Ayyappa devotees opposing the apex court’s verdict. (Express file photo)

A massive protest broke out in Pampa after two women from Andhra Pradesh attempted to enter the Sabarimala Temple in Kerala on Sunday. The duo was rescued by a police team and taken to the control room later.

The incident came four days after the gates of the shrine opened for the first time following the Supreme Court ruling allowing women of all age groups to enter it.

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The women, who are said to be in their 40s, reached the foothills of the temple when they were stopped by a group of protesters chanting religious slogans. The duo was escorted safely escorted by police personnel to Nilackal, the Sabarimala base camp.

The protesters, however, allowed other women, above 50 years of age, to climb the holy hills.

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The two women were part of a pilgrim group visiting the state and were not aware of the customs of the temple, police said. According to sources, the Telugu-speaking women gave in writing to the police that they had no intentions of breaking the centuries-old custom of the shrine.

On Saturday, a Dalit woman was forced to put her plans on hold and leave Pamba due to bad weather. Another woman was stopped by devotees who thought she was under 50 years of age. “I will come again. Two more days are left for visiting the temple. Due to heavy rains, the police have advised me not to go up the hill,’’ she had said. Read full story.

The state has been witnessing massive protests by Lord Ayyappa devotees opposing the apex court’s verdict. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC have been extended to Sabarimala, Pamba, Nilakkal and Elavunkal until Monday, the day the temple closes after the monthly rituals.

(With PTI inputs)

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