File photo of Kerala's Sabarimala temple. Photograph:( ANI )
The National Commission for Women has taken cognizance of an attack on women journalists. A meeting is currently underway at the NCW office to decide on further steps to be taken.
Kerala's Sabarimala temple opened its gates on Wednesday at 5 pm. Devotees will be allowed to offer prayers till 10.30 pm tonight.
There have however been days of protests against the recent Supreme Court verdict allowing women of all ages to enter the temple. Women between the ages of 10 and 50 were earlier not allowed to enter the temple (because they might have been menstruating).
In the wake of the recent protest that erupted in the temple premises earlier during the day, the authorities have imposed Section 144 in Pamba, Nilakkal, Sannidhanam Elavungal.
The Kerala police personnel also vandalised vehicles parked in Pampa. Incidents of violence had broken out today in parts of the state over the entry of women of all age groups in the temple.
Several journalists covering the Sabarimala protests were on Wednesday attacked by mobs at Nikakkal base camp, the main gateway to the Sabarimala shrine.
Protesters were caught on camera hounding TV reporters at the spot. One TV reporter's car was attacked, with the protesters trying to pull her out of her car. Her car window was broken, and the protester also tried to vandalise her crew's camera equipment.
The National Commission for Women has taken cognizance of the attack on her and other journalists. A meeting is underway at the NCW office to decide on further steps to be taken.
Kerala Minister KK Shailaja said that the attack by the protesters was intentional and that they were playing dirty politics. She added that she can't say if the protesters were actual devotee. She added that the Supreme Court's order is constitutional and the government is bound to implement it.
Around 30 people were arrested in Kerala's Pamba in the protest in Sabarimala temple carried out against the women in the age group of 10-50 years.
Out of the 30, nine were arrested on Tuesday while 21 were arrested today.
The police also arrested Activist Rahul Easwar from Nilakkal base camp and a non-bailable FIR was registered against him. Easwar is kept at Pamba police station
Blaming the LDF government for the protest in Pamba, BJP member MS Kumar has said that no member from his party was involved in the incident.
He said, "LDF government is fully responsible for any law and order situation in state. It's a very unfortunate situation, we aren't responsible. No BJP worker is involved, we're condemning that attempt".
Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala said, "Congress is not attacking anybody and definitely attack on journalists is not tolerable. Those who are protesting there, are BJP and RSS people. Nowhere Congress people are engaged in this kind of hooliganism or vandalism".
Kerala: ANI reporter Ayushmaan Kumar was attacked by protesters at Nilakkal base camp when he was taking the pictures of women checking the buses for women devotees. Police was also present at the spot when the attack took place. #SabarimalaTemple— ANI (@ANI) October 17, 2018
Earlier during the day an attempt by a 45-year-old woman from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh to enter Sabarimala Temple failed as protesters prevented her from proceeding to the hill shrine at Pamba.
The apex court had on September 28 passed a historic judgement lifting the ban on entry of girls and women of menstrual age into the temple, a verdict that was hailed by rights activists but opposed by traditionalists.