Temple opens amid violent protests; Section 144 to be imposed

Temple opens amid violent protests; Section 144 to be imposed

Police arrested 11 protesters when they tried to block the path of some females. "[The protesters] broke down the law and order to such an extent".

While most Hindu temples allow women to enter as long as they are not menstruating, the Sabarimala temple is unusual in that it is one of the few that does not allow women in a broad age group to enter at all.

On the contrary, Maharashtra government without any delay implemented the court order in Shani Shingnapur temple.

We demand that the Chief Minister and government of Kerala take immediate action against the agitators who let violent assailants loose on journalists, obstructing them from doing their duty.

The Network of Women in Media, India, denounced the attacks. The top court's verdict hasn't gone down well with many devotees mostly women. She was physically dragged to sit with them on a dharna, before the police came for her rescue, television reports showed.

Members of the Kerala Union of Working Journalists are marching against the violence in Sabarimala, News18 has reported. Online publication The News Minute said its reporter was kicked in the spine. The conversation began civilly, but as soon as she mentioned the Supreme Court verdict, the crowd started banging on her vehicle and demanding that she leave. The auto was reportedly smashed by a mob of 100. TNM's Saritha Balan, Republic TV's Pooja Prasanna, India Today's Mausami Singh, CNN News18's Radhika Ramaswamy and NDTV's Sneha Koshy were either attacked or heckled. Her hair and dupatta were pulled.

The series of attacks began close to noon, with a mob surrounding a vehicle in which the Republic TV channel crew was travelling. "Why was the police not prepared to give protection to all women in the region?" She was slapped by protesters.

Koshy said she was "appalled" by that line of reasoning. A woman reportedly threatened to throw stones and bottles at the woman journalist. It is our job. She had announced in a Facebook post on Wednesday that she would be travelling to Sabarimala. Several policemen have been deployed at the temple to control the mobs who are determined to stop any woman from entering the temple as tradition bars women's entry.

Tensions may rise as more women are expected to attempt entry. We don't mind waiting until we turn 50.

Every year, millions of male devotees trek up a steep hill to visit the shrine, which is believed to be about 800 years old. "The ban is not anti-women".

Both the Congress - the main opposition party in Kerala - and the BJP, which is desperately seeking to expand its footprint in the state, have lent support to the agitation against the Supreme Court verdict. On Tuesday, the protesters intercepted all oncoming vehicles to prevent female passengers from visiting the shrine, one of Hinduism's holiest. Protesters will not be allowed to gather at the base, they added. Menstruating women who enter the shrine are considered by traditionalists to be disrespecting the deity. "This matter is related to a longstanding custom and has nothing to do with equality in rights", said a woman protester from Sabarimala Achara Samrakshan Samiti.

The woman, Madhavi, accompanied by her parents and children began the climb leading to the hilltop temple hours ahead of its opening for the monthly rituals.

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