Two women stopped 2 km from Sabarimala, police lathi-charge protesters

ANI Pathanamthitta, Kerala, India Dec 24, 2018, 09.48 AM(IST)

File photo of Kerala's Sabarimala temple. Photograph:( ANI )

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The Sabarimala temple and surrounding areas witnessed a string of protests after the Supreme Court lifted the ban on entry of women of menstrual age (10-50 years) inside the temple in September this year.

Two women devotees, who were on their way to Sabarimala temple were stopped by protesters at Appachimedu, just two kilometres away from the Lord Ayyappa's shrine in the wee hours of Monday.

Trouble broke out when police accompanying the two women clashed with angry pilgrims after they created hurdles for the two women devotees, who are below the age of 50, from proceeding ahead for their darshan.

The police had to resort to lathi-charge and shield Bindu from Malappuram and Kanaka Durga from Kannur as angry Ayyappa devotees chanted slogans and approached them menacingly.

Earlier on Sunday, a group of eleven women devotees who had arrived in Pamba to visit the Lord Ayyappa temple had to return without paying obeisance at the hill shrine after several people, including women, staged a protest opposing their entry.

The Sabarimala temple and surrounding areas witnessed a string of protests after the Supreme Court lifted the ban on entry of women of menstrual age (10-50 years) inside the temple in September this year.

However, until now, no woman of the previously-forbidden age group has been able to enter the temple due to widespread protests.