Sabarimala protests | Women descend the hill without darshan following protests

An elderly woman on her way to Sabarimala Temple as police personnel stand on guard, in Pathanamthitta. File Photo.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Women of the ages hitherto barred from entering the famed Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala stayed away for a second day on Thursday following uneasy calm in Kerala amid a dawn-to-dusk shutdown called by outfits owing loyalty to Hindu groups and the BJP.

Two women, a reporter and a devotee, have begun their descent from the hill temple, after being unable to visit the temple.

Here are the live updates:

12.15 p.m.

A view from Pampa

Police taking Rehana Fatima, activist from Kochi, and Kavita, reporter from Andhra Pradesh, back to Pampa Police station amid strong protests. Both the women were wearing helmets given by the police to ensure their protection.

Police taking Rehana Fatima, activist from Kochi, and Kavita, reporter from Andhra Pradesh, back to Pampa Police station amid strong protests. Both the women were wearing helmets given by the police to ensure their protection.   | Photo Credit: Radhakrishnan Kuttoor

Rehana Fatima and Kavita, the two women who tried to visit Sabarimala today, were taken to Kochi in a well escorted police van after they were not allowed inside the temple following protests.

11.40 a.m.

Woman reporter, devotee descend the hill amid protests

The woman reporter and the woman devotee have started descending the hill as they were unable to make their trip to the Ayyappa Temple owing to strong protests from the devotees.

Amid mounting pressure, Devaswom Minster Kadakampally Surendran said in Thiruvananthapuram the activists should not try to make holy land of Lord Ayyappa a place to prove their strength.

Police held discussions with the women who insisted for a while that they should reach the shrine. Devotees, who have come to the temple from various parts of the country, said they would not allow the women to go to the shrine.

11.00 a.m.

Priests protest against police move to take  two young women to temple precincts

Priests assisting the Tantri and Melsanthi are staging protest at Sabarimala Sannidhanam, expressing strong resentment against the police  escorting two young woman to the holy hillock.

The Tantri Kandararu Rajeevararu said he will have to close the sanctum for performing purification (atonement) rituals,  in case of any defilement of temple precincts.

There were reports that the women undertaking the trek to the holy hillock with police escort on Friday morning are activists and even the Devaswom Minister has reportedly slammed the police for escorting the women with out verifying their credentials.

(Radhakrishnan Kuttoor reports from Sabarimala)

10.30 a.m.

Woman devotee's house vandalised

The house of a woman who had gone to Sabarimala has been vandalised by miscreants in Kochi on Friday morning.

Vandals broke into the Panampilly Nagar apartment of Rahna Fatima and threw out chairs and fitness equipment in protest of her visiting Sabarimala for darshan

Vandals broke into the Panampilly Nagar apartment of Rahna Fatima and threw out chairs and fitness equipment in protest of her visiting Sabarimala for darshan   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

 

Rahna Fathima's house at BSNL quarters at Panamppilly Nagar was attacked by two persons who came by a motorcycle around 8 a.m. As per initial reports, no one was there in the house.

The attack took place after the identity of the woman, who was at Sabarimala, was revealed by a section of the media. Police have launched an  investigation.

(M.P. Praveen reports from Kochi)

10.00 a.m.

Women detained at Nadappanthal

Meanwhile, the woman journalist and the young woman devotee have been detained at the Nadappanthal due to vehement protests from the Ayyappa devotees and Sangh Parivar activists camping at Sabarimala.

IG S. Sreejith who is escorting the two women, appealed to the masses and said that the police, most of whom are devotees themselves, have to obey the rules and comply with the Court order.

(Radhakrishnan Kuttoor reports from Sabarimala)

9.45 a.m.

Palace directs Tantri to close the sanctum if young woman enters temple premises

Tension mounts in Sabarimala as a woman journalist from Andhra Pradesh, Kavitha, and a young woman devotee, escorted by a large posse of police, reached the Valiyanadappanthal at Sabarimala Sannidhanam at around 8.50 a.m.

Meanwhile, the Pandalam Palace has urged the temple high priest (Tantri), Kandararu Rajeevararu, to take effective steps to ensure due compliance of the ritualistic as well as Tantric custom, tradition and practice at the Ayyappa Temple.

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(Radhakrishnan Kuttoor reports from Sabarimala)

9.00 a.m.

Woman journalist begins climbing Sabarimala hill

A woman journalist from Andhra Pradesh is being escorted by the IG of Police S. Srijith to the holy hillock of Sabarimala Sannidhanam from Pampa, amid protests from Sangh Parivar activists on Friday morning.

The woman is in her late 20s and if she climbed the hills, she would be the first woman from the menstruating age group to visit the Sabarimala temple of Lord Ayyappa after the Supreme Court order permitting women of all age groups to enter the shrine.

(Radhakrishnan Kuttoor reports from Sabarimala)

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2022 4:56:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/sabarimala-women-entry-issue-protests-continue/article25258611.ece

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