Sabarimala temple conflict breaks out after 2 women attempt forced entry

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New Delhi : Sabarimala violence broke out as two women dressed themselves as men and tried to enter the Ayyappa shrine early morning Wednesday. The women in their 30s were stopped by protestors near Pamba. 

The two women, Reshma Nishanth and Shanila Sajesh, residents of Kannur, walked almost half of the 5.5-kilometre trek to the temple but were turned back by angry devotees. Report claims that the two women were dressed in men’s clothes started trekking at 5 am. Both of them said they came after police promised protection.

Initially, the duo was stopped by 6 to 7 devotees. Later, 2,000 devotees gathered near the hilltop shrine, following the deployment of police to stop violence from spreading. Also, some of the devotees clashed with the cops. 

On 14 January 2019, Kanaka Durga, one of two women who created history by entering and offering prayers at the Lord Ayyapa shrine earlier this month, was attacked by her mother-in-law at home. She was hit by a wooden plank after she returned to her residence after two weeks of hiding. It is said that her visit to the temple was strongly opposed by her husband and in-laws. 

CM Pinarayi Vijayan witnessed heavy protests after Durga, 39 and Bindu Ammini, 40, entered and offered prayers at the Sabarimala temple defying a centuries-old ban on entry of women, in their menstrual age, to the temple. While the entry of women was supported by rights groups, the BJP supported Hindutva groups opposed the same. 

Sources confirmed that both Durga and Ammini had been hiding at a secret location on the outskirts of Kochi.