Sabarimala temple row: New York Times journalist heckled


It appears that she has chose to terminate the climb at Marakkoottom following vehement protests from Sangh Parivar activists. Talking to a Malayalam news channel, he said that the ritual will be marred if the women from the banned group entered the temple.

Protest and tension mounted as Suhasini Raj reached Marakkoottom, despite heavy police bandobast.

"When democracy and the Supreme Court order are being defied by protesters, I have come with the firm intent of visiting Sabarimala", she said, adding she was ready to face trouble.

Pamba is the base from where the trek to the shrine begins. Marakoottam is nearly 3/4th the way up but as the protestors created a human wall making it hard for her to proceed, she had to return.

A woman journalist Ritu was one of those who was stopped by the protesting women devotees.

"We don't want anyone to get hurt here". We don't mind waiting until we turn 50.

There was chaos and mayhem on the road leading from Nilakkal, the gateway to the shrine, to Pamba, 20 km away, in the foothills from where the devotees start the arduous six-km trek to Sabarimala.

Meanwhile, the Pathanamthitta District Administration has chose to enforce prohibitory order under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in Sabarimala tomorrow.

The Sabarimala temple opened for the first time last evening after the Supreme Court ruling last month allowing entry of women aged between 10 and 50. Stones were also pelted at Police vehicles.

Overnight, police cleared hundreds of protesters from a site in Nilakkal.

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The mob also verbally and physically assaulted several female Indian journalists who were covering the protest ― some of whom say police didn't do enough to protect them.

Denouncing the attacks on media, he said cases were being registered against the suspects under sections relating to non-bailable offences.

Hindustan Times via Getty Images Police escort a woman and her family after she was harassed by protesters while seeking the entry to the Lord Ayyappa Temple in Sabarimala on October 17, 2018.

On Wednesday morning, Kerala Police chief Loknath Behra said there was a very strong police presence in and around Sabarimala.

Even though police gave the woman and her family protection and allowed them to move further, they gave up as agitated activists surrounded them, PTI reported.

Kerala: A woman attempted to hang herself from a tree in Thiruvananthapuram in protest against the Supreme Court's verdict over the entry of women of all age group in #SabarimalaTemple.

"It was a massive protest by the devotees". An embattled Left Front government reacted sharply to the protests, with the state's religious trusts minister Kadakampally Surendran calling them "politically motivated".

"No one should be able to change the way this temple has functioned for centuries", he said. Would you want your mother and sister attacked. The BJP rejected the allegation, saying the government was responsible for the "collapse" of law and order.

As the gates of the Sabarimala temple were flung open, a crowd of male devotees surged toward the temple. The march is taking place in Trivandrum. Another woman from Alappuzha district of Keala, said to be in the below 50 years age group, who was on the way to Sabarimala armed with the Supreme Court order was stopped from proceeding at the Pathanamthitta bus terminal by passengers.