Protesters Stop Another Woman From Reaching Sabarimala Shrine

Bindu who was proceeding to the Sabarimala temple along with police protection at her request was barred from reaching the temple by BJP workers

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Bindu was heading to the temple with police protection.


Pamba, Kerala: 

Another woman in the "barred" age group made a futile attempt to reach Sabarimala today, but was forced to retreat by agitated protesters, while security was tightened at the shrine amid reports that more women of menstruating age could try to visit the temple before its doors close tonight.

Bindu, a Dalit activist, who was proceeding to Pamba at the foothills of Sabarimala temple was given police protection at her request, the officials said.

When the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation bus she was travelling on with police personnel, was about to reach Pamba, a group of BJP workers and those opposing the entry of girls and women aged between 10 and 50 years into the temple, blocked the road and forced her to alight.

She was then escorted to safety in a police jeep, officials said.

A dozen women have been turned back by protesters while attempting to visit the shrine of Lord Ayyappa, the presiding deity of Sabarimala temple considered "naishtika brahmachari" (eternally celibate), since it opened for a five-day pooja on October 17.

No pooja was performed on the first day of the opening of the temple. The doors of the shrine will close at 10 pm on Monday.

Hundreds of devotees are camping at the Sabarimala Sannidhanam temple complex to prevent women of menstruating age group from reaching the shrine.

Despite clamping of section 144 CrPC at Sabarimala Sannidhanam, Pamba, Nilackal and Elavumkal, hundreds of devotees have prevented women from visiting the shrine. The police have tightened the security at Sannidhanam and other areas.

Inspector general of police S Sreejith, deputed to ensure security of women devotees, offered prayers at the temple today morning. The visuals of the officer offering prayers with tearful eyes before the deity were telecast by the local media.

Mr Sreejith had faced the ire of the devotees for taking activist Rehana Fathima to the temple under police security. However, the police could not facilitate her entry into the main temple because of strong protests by Ayyappa devotees.

Six women were prevented from entering the Sabarimala temple Sunday alone.

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