The gates of the famous Sabarimala temple opened on Wednesday at 5 pm for the first time after the Supreme Court ruled that women from all age groups will be allowed to enter the premises. However, despite the order, women are still awaiting their turn to enter the gates. Protestors in huge numbers are blocking the gates of the temple, not allowing women to pass through.
The gates of the temple which opened at 5 pm on Wednesday and will shut at 10.30 pm. The portals will remain open for followers till 22 October for the five-day-monthly pooja of the Malayalam month of Thulam.
Protesters opposing the SC order 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 Nilackal, 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.
An injured woman was seen bleeding from her head and was later taken away from the clash scene. Several vehicles were also damaged in the stone pelting as tension continued to prevail in the area.