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Sabarimala temple: 46-year-old Sri Lankan woman is latest to enter Lord Ayyappa temple

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Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 4: Confusion over the entry of a 46-year old Sri Lankan Tamil woman into the Lord Ayyappa temple late on Thursday night with the woman denying it and official sources claiming it finally came to end. Confirming that the woman had enetred the shrine, police sources released the CCTV visuals of woman walking around Sannidhanam.

Sabarimala temple: 46-year-old Sri Lankan woman is latest to enter Lord Ayyappa temple

The video at Sreekovil (Cam 19/22:46:46 to 22:46:77) shows the woman and an accompanying man coming out of the Sreekovil (sanctum sanctorum) after darshan. The woman is carrying irumudikettu on her head. The woman, who is a native of Karaitivu in Sri Lanka and a Tamil national, was seen at Sannidhanam around 10.45pm.

The woman identified as Sasikala, daughter of Asok Kumaran, born on December 3, 1972, reached Sabarimala on Thursday night with her family. Both The Hindu and Times of India said that the woman, accompanied by plain-clothed police officers, prayed at the temple and went back to Pamba smoothly.

According to The Hindu, 'Sasikala had walked up the "18 Holy Steps" without any hindrance and offered her prayers at the sanctum'.

The police said the woman had booked her darshan time in advance. Sasikala and her family had used the electronic queue system devised by the police and had sent her age-related records early.

Earlier on Wednesday, two women in their 40s entered Kerala's Sabarimala temple sparking violent clashes. It was the first time that women aged between 10 and 50 entered the Lord Ayyappa temple in Kerala since Supreme Court overturned a ban in September last year. The dramatic pre-dawn entry by the two women, Bindu and Kanaka Durga, helped by policemen wearing civilian clothes, led to angry reactions from opposition parties.

Bindu and Kanaka Durga said they had 'darshan' at 3.30 am, away from the media glare.

Protests erupted across Kerala soon after news of the women trekking to the hill shrine spread. The temple itself was closed for over an hour for "purification".

Thiruvananthapuram underwent a tense standoff that has lasted over four hours, with neither side showing any sign of backing down.

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