Two women enter shrine with help of police, CM Vijayan confirms

India police intervene as members of Sabarimala Karma Samithi try to disrupt a celebratory meeting after two women entered Sabarimala Ayyapa temple at the High Court Junction in Kochi in the Indian state of Kerala

The temple had witnessed protests from frenzied devotees over the entry of women in the 10-50 age group in the shrine after the CPI (M)-led LDF government made a decision to implement a Supreme Court order allowing women of all age to offer prayers there. The temple has been shut for ritual "purification".

Two women below the age of 50 have said they offered prayers at the Sabarimala temple in Kerala's Pathanamthitta district early on Wednesday, a claim denied by police.

The police escorted the duo in plainclothes.

The initiative also witnessed a group of the Jacobite faction of the Christian community lining up in support of the wall along with members of the Muslim community.

Officials say that around five million women from various parts of Kerala had gathered across all national highways to form the chain, which stretched from the northern tip of Kasaragod to the southern end in Thiruvanthapuram. "Police are bound to offer protection to anyone wanting to worship at the shrine". There was no media glare and very few devotees were around at the time, which apparently facilitated the "sneak " visit.

The workers hurled stones at the women and policemen, injuring three personnel, police said, adding that they had to fire in the air and burst teargas shells to disperse the attackers.

"I don't think it is true.They might have done that in absolute secrecy. We will see and take the appropriate action", he told NDTV.

Bindu, 44, is a college lecturer and CPI (ML) activist, according to the Press Trust of India.

Bindu and Kanakadurga had tried visiting the temple late last month too, but failed amidst massive protests. The temple reopened on December 30 for the Makaravilakku festival and there has been a heavy rush of pilgrims since then.

Most Hindu temples allow women to enter if they are not now menstruating, rather than disallowing women from a broad age group, according to the BBC.

Tens of thousands of women in the Indian state of Kerala have formed a series of human chains extending an estimated 620 kilometers (385 miles) as a show of solidarity in protest at a refusal to admit women to the Sabarimala Temple, one of Hinduism's holiest sites.



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