Third woman enters flashpoint Indian temple

Third woman enters flashpoint Indian temple

Third woman enters flashpoint Indian temple

The India Supreme Court in September ruled the ban violated gender discrimination laws, and ordered the temple to admit women of all ages immediately.

A 46-year-old woman has entered the Sabarimala temple in south India, becoming the third woman this week to breach an ancient ban on females of menstruating age from going inside, according to the office of the chief minister of Kerala.

Upadhyay said that the situation at the temple on Friday is "normal for now". "We broke the inequality being carried out in the name of God for all these years".

Some devotees have filed a petition saying the court decision revoking the ban was an affront to celibate deity Ayyappa.

Kerala had witnessed unprecedented violence on Thursday, a day after the two women entered the hill temple, infuriating saffron outfits, with protesters blocking roads by placing burning tyres and granite blocks. Their entrance was captured on a video that was posted to social media.

After prolonged resistance, Ms Ammini and Ms Durga successfully entered under nightfall alongside plain-clothed police officers on Wednesday.

"Many people. came to enter the Sabarimala Temple (since September) but these people were blocked by the public, so they couldn't enter into the temple", said Prasad Amore, a supporter of the women.

In a surprise predawn operation heralded by activists, but opposed by conservative devotees, police enabled the two women, both 42, to enter the hilltop temple and then leave again undetected, officials said.

He also said the state government "betrayed the sentiments of devotees".

"We faced the worst floods in 100 years". The pair attempted to access the temple in December but were prevented by "right wing Hindu protesters determined to uphold the ban".

Attempts by ABC News to contact the women were not successful.

"Police are bound to offer protection to anyone wanting to worship at the shrine", Kerala State Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said. "Thousands of police were deployed at the temple premises but they were helpless". Immediately Hindu organizations, including the BJP, have called for a hartal [shutdown].

"The police is prepared to meet any type of eventuality".

The release said 1,009 people have been taken into preventive custody.

"We arrested more than 600 people on Wednesday from Kochi and four other adjoining districts, and took almost 300 into preventive custody", Sakhare said.

On Tuesday, millions of women formed a human chain more than 375 miles long from Kasargod in the northern part of the state to Thiruvananthapuram, the southernmost city and the state capital, to support gender equality.

In some sporadic incidents, tear gas was also used.

News channels reported the chief priest briefly shut the temple for "purification" rituals after the women visited.

Media reports said that some were heckled by right-wing activists. "The tantri should have quit, if he had any objection to the apex court order as he was also a party to the case".

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