Women Who Entered Sabarimala Temple Unable To Return Home After Threats

Bindu Ammini, 40, a law lecturer at Kerala's Kannur University and Kanakadurga, 39, a civil servant, said they were determined to enter the Sabarimala temple despite threats of violence.

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Women Who Entered Sabarimala Temple Unable To Return Home After Threats

Kanaka Durga, 39 (L), and Bindu Ammini, 40, the first women to enter Sabarimala in Kerala. (Reuters)


KOCHI/NEW DELHI: 

Highlights

  1. Bindu Ammini and Kanaka Durga were the first women to enter Sabarimala
  2. The two women have now gone in hiding after threats by protesters
  3. Their entry had sparked widespread protests and a day-long strike

Two women who made history by becoming the first in centuries to enter the Sabarimala hill temple in Kerala are in hiding after threats by protesters.

The temple has been the site of tension since the Supreme Court ruled in late September to end a ban on women of menstruating age entering it.

There have since been sporadic outbreaks of violence between the authorities and protesters attempting to prevent women from entering.

Bindu Ammini, 40, a law lecturer at Kerala's Kannur University and Kanaka Durga, 39, a civil servant, told Reuters they were determined to enter despite threats of violence.

"A lot of people tried to dissuade us and make us turn back - police officers, our friends... because they knew we were facing a lot of backlash," Kanakadurga said.

After the Supreme Court's judgment, the women made an unsuccessful attempt to enter the temple on December 24, before finally succeeding on January 2.

A third woman aged 46 has since entered the site, the office of the chief minister of Kerala said on January 4.

"We felt no fear. We had only one aim: we wanted to go to that shrine," Bindu said.

Their entry sparked widespread protests and a day-long strike in Kerala led in part by members of ruling BJP.

"This BJP government has a duty to regulate and control their members," Bindu said.

The women -- speaking in an undisclosed location on the outskirts of Kochi -- say they have since faced threats from protesters, but that they trusted the authorities to keep them safe and plan to return home next week.

"I always say that I trust the police persons, the state government of Kerala and also our democratic society of Kerala," Bindu said.



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