The Sabarimala Protection Committee has called for a 12-hour statewide strike in Kerala on Thursday. The Sabarimala Temple was opened to devotees on Wednesday prior to which the state witnessed incidents of violence and protests in Pampa, Nilakkal, Sannidhanam and Elavungal.
Section 144, which prohibits assembly of more than 4 people in an area, has been imposed in Pampa, Nilakkal, Sannidhanam and Elavungal.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has taken cognisance of the incidents of violence that took place on Wednesday, ANI reported.
A bus carrying journalists and other passengers was vandalised by protesters at Laka near Nilakkal base camp.
Police personnel were seen vandalising vehicles parked at Pampa.
Protesters had opposed the Supreme Court's order of opening the gates of Sabarimala temple for women of all age groups. They clashed with police on Wednesday and hurled stones at them.
The police had to resort to lathicharge to manage the agitating crowd. An elderly woman and a few other people were among those injured in police action.
A tense face-off was witnessed at Nilakkal, the base camp, since morning with the protesters laying siege to the road leading to the famous hill temple and blocking young women, including journalists.
Trouble broke out as the agitators, who are opposing the decision of Kerala government to implement the apex court lifting a ban on entry of women of menstrual age into the temple, continued to block vehicles of pilgrims and pelted stones.
As police began a crackdown, the protesters fought pitched battle with them. Several people even ran helter-skelter and entered the nearby forest area.
(With Agency Inputs)