Last Update 22:46
Thursday, 24 October 2019

560 woman register to enter flashpoint Indian temple

AFP , Saturday 10 Nov 2018
Indian protesters
Members of Indian right wing group Hindu Sena protest against the decision to allow women to enter Sabarimala temple in New Delhi. (AFP)
Views: 2273
Views: 2273

A new standoff between Hindu traditionalists and Indian police over a flashpoint shrine is looming next week, with 560 women reportedly registering to visit the side when it reopens on November 17.

India's Supreme Court in September ruled that all females should be allowed into the Sabarimala hilltop temple in the southern state of Kerala, and not just those under 10 or over 50 as before.

But when the temple reopened in mid-October, a handful of women who wanted to go were prevented by hardliners, who also threw stones at police and assaulted journalists.

Police later detained around 2,000 people. The protesters' anger reflected an old but still prevalent view in some areas of India that connects menstruation with impurity.

The temple opens again on November 17 for a Hindu festival period lasting 41 days, and some 300,000 people have registrated to visit -- including some 560 woman, media reports said.

Police said that several thousand extra officers would be deployed and that tighter restrictions will be in place in an attempt to avoid clashes.

"Now, private vehicles will only be able to get to Nilackal, the first base camp, after getting prior passes (permission) from the local police," Pramod Kumar, Kerala police spokesman told AFP.

The people will have to board government buses from there to Pamba, the next base camp around 20 kilometres (12 miles) away, before they start their on-foot climb to the top of the hill.

The Hindu daily said that Kerala police are considering using a military helicopter to take women to the hilltop site. In October women could not even begin ascending because of the protests.

Before the re-opening, on Tuesday the Supreme Court is due to hear review challenges against its earlier verdict. More than a dozen complaints have been filed.

Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

© 2010 Ahram Online.