Sabarimala: Two woman devotees forced by policemen to return
Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 19: Two young women were forced to return on Saturday by policemen, while they were on their way to the Pamba base camp in Kerala's Sabarimala.
Reshma Nishanth and Shanila had tried to enter the abode of Lord Ayyappa at Sabarimala last week too, but were stopped at Neelimala.
As many as 51 women aged between ten and 50 have entered Sabarimala since an entry ban on women in that age group was lifted.
On January 2, Kanakadurga, 44, and Bindhu, 42, became the first women to enter the hill shrine, three months after the Supreme Court allowed women of all age groups to enter Sabarimala. Following their entry, the head priest decided to close the sanctum sanctorum of the temple in order to perform a "purification" ceremony.
Violence involving the BJP-RSS and the ruling CPI(M) rocked parts of Kerala during the January 3 hartal with several houses and shops of rival leaders and workers being attacked over the women's entry into the temple.
On January 4, a 46-year-old Sri Lankan devotee, Sasikala, managed to enter the sanctum sanctorum of Sabarimala. A week later, a young dalit activist, claimed to have visited Sabarimala, disguised as an elderly pilgrim. However, the police and government did not confirm her claims.