Sasikala from Sri Lanka becomes the third woman to enter Sabarimala

Minnie Murray
January 5, 2019

The Sabarimala temple in Kerala state has been at the centre of a prolonged showdown since India´s top court overturned in September a ban on women aged 10 to 50 setting foot inside. Ms Sasikala said she has fulfilled every condition needed to visit the temple.

Two women who defied protesters to enter one of Hinduism's holiest temples say they have no fear of mobs enraged by their actions.

Over 700 people were arrested and 600 were taken into precautionary detention on Thursday. A woman police constable was attacked and molested by five protesters in one of the districts near Kochi on Wednesday, said police, while a protester died during a stone pelting incident in a southern district of the state.

Kerala remained tense on Thursday, and the police said additional forces had been deployed across the state to prevent further violence breaking out.

But despite the ruling, females that enter the building are being called "godless atheists" along with Pinarayi Vijayan Chief Minister of Kerala and member of the Communist Party of India.

Upadhyay said that the situation at the temple on Friday is "normal for now. Sangh Parivar is trying to turn Sabarimala into a clash zone". "A senior police officer said plainclothes officers, including women, gave Sasikala and her family covert security".

On Thursday, Vijayan accused the BJP and the RSS of unleashing the violence as part of a "conspiracy for political gains" and said it would be dealt with strongly.

"Women were targeted, especially those who took part in the Women's Wall.Journalists and their equipment. were assaulted".

Police deployed tear gas, charged at demonstrators with batons, and even ran down two activists with a police vehicle.

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

With India just months away from a general election, the issue has, perhaps inevitably, become more and more politicized, as national parties eye the votes of conservative Hindus who oppose the court's ruling.

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. "And men don't go", Modi told Indian media.

India's ruling party, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), condemned the Supreme Court's ruling allowing women to enter the Sabarimala shrine on the grounds that it attacked religious values.

The Supreme Court had on November 13 made a decision to go for open court hearing on January 22 of the almost 50 petitions seeking a recall of its order permitting women of all age groups to pray at the Kerala temple. The entry of women of menstruating age to Sabarimala was taboo for generations and formalised by the Kerala High Court in 1991.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article