2 women enter Hindu temple, breaking years-long ban

2 women enter Hindu temple, breaking years-long ban

2 women enter Hindu temple, breaking years-long ban

The wall was organized in the backdrop of conservative protestors blocking the entry of women of menstruating age at the Sabarimala temple.

This is the first time that women in this age group have managed to enter the temple following a Supreme Court verdict which allowed the same.

The Kerala Police said it was looking into media reports that two women in their forties had entered the Sabarimala temple early Wednesday, sources said.

November 7: A woman above menstrual age was allegedly manhandled at the temple and few young women approached the steps near the sanctum sanctorum of the hill shrine.

An activist opposed to women entering the temple, Rahul Easwar, told the BBC that "the police cheated other devotees by claiming the two women are transgender".

The workers hurled stones at the women and policemen, injuring three personnel, police said, adding that they had to fire in the air and burst teargas shells to disperse the attackers. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

The women trekked the hill a day after the state-sponsored 620-km-long "wall of women", which was formed from Kasargode in the northern part of the state till the southern-most district of Thiruvananthapuram.

The state government organized the so-called "women's wall" Tuesday, according to CNN affiliate CNN News 18. The initiative had the backing of the state's LDF government and some Hindu organisations, supporting the Supreme Court's verdict on Sabarimala.

Local BJP leaders have said they would observe a two-day protest across Kerala against the breach.

Menstruation is rarely discussed openly in India and menstrual blood is considered impure by many communities.

The women, who are now under police protection, can be seen leaving the shrine in videos that have been circulating on WhatsApp.

Protests were also reported from Kochi, Palghat, Kozhikode and Kasargode. The women were part of a Chennai-based women rights organisation, "Manithi", which had made a decision to meet another group of 15 women from Kerala before beginning their journey to the temple.

In September, India's Supreme Court ruled that the ban violated women's right to equality and the right to worship.

Bindu Ammini, 40, and Kanaka Durga, 39, devotees of the temple deity, Lord Ayyappa, entered around dawn.

The supreme court is to hear challenges to its landmark ruling from 22 January. The latest incident took place several days ago when a massive crowd of male pilgrims tried to prevent two women of menstruating age from reaching the holy site.

Nair Service Society's General Secretary Sukumaran Nair thanked the temple priests for closing the temple for "purification rituals".

In October, devotees clashed with police leading to the arrest of more than 2,000 people.

A local official from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling party called for protests.

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