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Sabarimala temple: 2 women attempt entry, protestors send them back

Devotees, who have come to the temple from various parts of the country, said they would not allow the women to go to the shrine

Press Trust of India  |  Pamba (Ker) 

sabarimala protest, sabarimala, sabarimala temple, lord ayappa
Devotees, mostly women, take part in the 'namajapa' (chanting the name of Lord Ayyappa ) in Ernakulam against the SC verdict on the entry of women of all ages into the Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa Temple. (Photo:PTI)

An entry point near the Lord Ayyappa temple in on Friday virtually turned into an area of confrontation.

A large number of devotees opposing the entry of women of the menstrual age group blocked two women -- a reporter from Hyderabad and another said to be an activist from Kerala -- at the Valiya Nadappandhal near Sannidhanam.

Inspector General S Sreejith heading a team of police personnel providing security cover to the women assured the protesting devotees chanting Ayyappa mantra that they would not like to move forward to the Sannidhanam with the women, hurting the sentiments of devotees.

Amid mounting pressure, Devaswom Minster Kadakampally Surendran said in Thiruvananthapuram the activists should not try to make holy land of Lord Ayyappa a place to prove their strength.

Police is holding discussions with the women who still insist they should reach the shrine.

Devotees, who have come to the temple from various parts of the country, said they would not allow the women to go to the shrine.

Their attempt to reach the shrine came a day after a New Delhi-based woman reporter of a foreign media outlet made a bid to visit the temple.

Police led by IG Sreejith have thrown a security ring around the women who had requested security to go to Sannidhanam.

There have been strong protests by devotees opposing the entry of girls and women of menstrual age into the Lord Ayyappa temple.

The woman reporter is in her late 20s while the details of the second woman was not immediately known.

If they climbed the hills, they would be the first women from the menstruating age group to visit the of Lord Ayyappa after the order permitting women of all age groups to enter the shrine.

On Thursday, the New Delhi-based woman journalist was stopped midway by devotees opposing the entry of women of menstrual age into the hill shrine.

The journalist accompanied by a male colleague, a foreigner, descended the hills from Marakkoottam area in the face of mounting protests.

A case has been registered against devotees who allegedly prevented her from trekking and forced her to climb down the hills.

First Published: Fri, October 19 2018. 10:35 IST
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