Death in temple clashes
Right-wing Hindus protest after women enter Lord Ayyappa shrine in Kerala
ANOTHER woman defied ageold traditions to enter an ancient Hindu temple in southern India where protests over the issue have left one dead and over 100 injured.
The woman, a 46-year-old Sri Lankan national, entered the hilltop Sabarimala temple in Kerala state late on Thursday night, official sources said, after two women made history by walking into the shrine earlier on Wednesday.
The Supreme Court in September lifted a temple ban on women of menstruating age, on the grounds that their presence would threaten the celibacy of temple deity Lord Ayyappa.
Tension has gripped the state since Wednesday, with right-wing Hindu groups carrying out violent protests and street clashes, shutting markets and blocking roads and traffic.
While a temple activist was killed in stone-pelting protests, more than 100 people, including A MEMORIAL to Savitribai Jyotirao Phule. 21 policemen, were hurt in the shutdown on Thursday, the Times of India reported.
“We have arrested 1369 people for rioting and clashes and taken 717 more into preventive custody to stop further violence,” police spokesperson Pramod Kumar said.
The protest rallies and strike were called by Sabarimala Karma Samithi, an organisation of Hindu groups, which is supported by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party that governs at the federal level.
Kerala’s ruling Communist party said the state government was complying with court orders and would provide protection to women devotees who wanted to visit the temple.
The Supreme Court ruling declared that the ban on the entry of women went against the rights to equality and to worship guaranteed under India’s constitution.