Protests erupt after women break decades-long ban on entering Hindu temple

5 million women form human chain in India to protest temple ban

Indian women enter Hindu temple, defying centuries-old ban

A spokesperson for the Opposition Congress party, K Sudhakaran, described the two women entering the temple as "treachery" and that the left-wing state government "will have to pay the price for the violation of the custom".

After the formation of the protest, two women entered the temple for the first time following the lifting of the ban by the Supreme Court in September 2018.

Kerala state police reported small-scale protests on Friday following a day of violence over the entry of women into the Hindu temple dedicated to Ayyappa, the god of celibacy and growth. The lady had in fact exploded before the media saying that the police had prevented her from entering the temple. He said, "It is government's responsibility to give protection to women".

Kumar said police were gearing up for more protests on Thursday because several political and Hindu groups have called for a general strike to protest the women's entry.

"It was against the spirit of the Supreme Court verdict", said TDB president A Padmakumar. "We had no trouble trekking to the shrine and the officials were co-operative", Ammini tells the BBC.

The Press Trust of India news agency reported that a 55-year-old passerby who was seriously injured in rock throwing by protesters in Pandalam a town died later Wednesday. "I have a medical certificate", Ms Sasikala earlier said, before the police confirmed that she did manage to offer prayers inside the temple later.

Whatever they decide, one thing seems clear: Many people, on one or the other side of what's become an increasingly fractious public argument, will be left disappointed.

"The chief minister's office is lying", said Ayyappa Dharma Sena, leader of the temple and grandson of former chief priest Rahul Easwar. Some Hindus consider menstruating women to be impure.

Since then women have had their entry blocked in defiance to the ruling, and even been subjected to violence.

A day before this, on an interview with ANI the PM was asked about his opinion on the Sabarimala row, and he offered, every temple has its own traditions and so does this pilgrimage site in Kerala.

In the early hours of Wednesday morning, however, two women slipped inside the temple, cloaked in black and flanked by plainclothes policeman-a history-making moment that has sparked both jubilation and fury in Kerala.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the BJP has also drawn criticism for his comments on Twitter which called the question a matter of "beliefs".

On Tuesday, supporters of women's right to access the temple formed a huge human chain that stretched some 385 miles across Kerala. "Where a man can enter, a woman can also go", the court ruled. BJP and Communist Party of India (Marxist) workers clashed in many places.

The Supreme Court is to start hearing a legal challenge on its ruling to allow women into the temple from January 22.

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