Massive protests erupted in Sabarimala today and protestors mobbed two women who had come to the temple with their husbands and grandchildren. The police identified them as Girija and Sujatha, both above the age of 50 and residents of Thrissur.
Police had allowed persons responsible for violence against pilgrims in October to enter Sabarimala again. They included leaders of the BJP-backed Ayyappa Dharma Sena and Sabarimala Karma Samithi.
Tense situation prevailed in Sabarimala since Tuesday morning.
The protestors had gathered in sizeable numbers on the expansive courtyard in front of the “18 Holy Steps” early in the morning. With police not taking any steps to evict them, they took control of the sensitive locality by 5.30 a.m. and staged sit-in prayers.
Violating prohibitory orders imposed by the district magistrate, the protestors mobbed the women who had come to the temple with their husbands and grandchildren. They demanded that women prove their age. The police tried to convince them that the women were above 50 years of age. In the melee, one of the women fainted. Later, they allowed the woman to proceed amidst jeers and boos.
In another incident, about 4 km downhill at Pampa, a posse of media persons were reporting the pilgrimage and some persons wearing “Save Sabarimala” headbands attempted to bully two women journalists working for a national media. The protestors also browbeat male journalists and camera persons at the sanctum and demanded that they broadcast only their version
The temple rituals began with the tantri performing the AshtadravyaMahaGanapatihomom on Tuesday morning.
There were reports that 7,000 Sangh Parivar workers were camping at Pampa and the Sannidhanam to check any attempt by young women to enter the temple.
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