Thiruvananthapuram: Massive protests broke out near the Sabarimala temple on Wednesday morning after two women, reportedly aged below 50 years, tried to trek the hill shrine.
The women were stopped by protesters at Neelimala, 1 km after they crossed the base camp. According to reports, the women have been taken to safety by the police.
As per a News 18 report, police arrested five persons who had blocked the women on the trekking path but forced them to return as the protests intensified even as the women refused to abandon their journey to the temple.
The two women are part of a nine-member group who were on their way for the darshan of Lord Ayyappa at the Sabarimala temple.
Backing the protesters, activist Rahul Easwaran tweeted: “1 more Victory for #Hindu Resistance. Huge protests erupt for #SaveSabarimala .. some leftists with 2 young women tried to intrude into #Sabarimala. Devotees from different states spontaneously gather and resist the young women, leftist group and police. Young women returned (sic).”
The incident comes a day after one of the two women, who had entered the hill shrine earlier this month, was allegedly beaten up by her mother-in-law after an altercation on the issue leading to her hospitalisation.
However, her aged mother-in-law also got admitted to the hospital later alleging that Kanakadurga had assaulted her.
Both Kanakadurga’s in-laws as well as her own family had opposed her decision to enter the Sabarimala temple taken in view of the landmark September 28 Supreme Court verdict permitting women of all age groups into the shrine.
Kanakadurga (44) and Bindhu (42) had entered the hill shrine on January 3, breaking a centuries-old tradition and defying dire threats from right-wing groups.
Following their entry, the head priest decided to close the sanctum sanctorum of the temple in order to perform the “purification” ceremony.
Violence involving BJP-RSS and the ruling CPI(M) rocked parts of Kerala during the January 3 hartal with several houses and shops of rival leaders and workers being attacked over the women’s entry into the temple.