Pooja Prasaanna of the Republic TV channel said the protesters hurled stones at a police van where she and her crew members had taken shelter after their vehicle was targeted, and snatched away batons carried by some police officers who tried to shield them. The police clashed with protesters after the latter pelted stones at vehicles including buses carrying devotees to the temple. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said no one would be allowed to block devotees from proceeding to Sabarimala and that "Stern action will be taken against anyone who prevents devotees from going to Sabarimala". "Those who do so will have to walk over our dead bodies", one of the women protesters said as they "cleared" a bus of Ayyappa pilgrims, as reported by Indian Express.
Chennai: A woman devotee hailing from Kollam district in Kerala was sacked from her job in a private firm after she announced her proposed pilgrimage to Sabarimala temple, which opened its doors to females of menstruating age from Wednesday following a Supreme Court order last month.
The fundamentalist Hindu Shiv Sena party, a staunch ally of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party-led federal government, backs the campaigners.
As the gates of the Sabarimala temple were flung open, a crowd of male devotees surged toward the temple. Police intervened and escorted them to safety.
According to The News Minute report, the anti-women Sabarimala protesters had attacked reporter Saritha S Balan in Pamba.
A Padmakumar, president of Travancore Devasom Board (TDB), the custodian of Sabarimala temple, said that there are no facilities for women devotees, adding that anybody who comes to pray will be allowed inside.
Similar protests in and around the temple town forced a 45-year-old woman from Andhra Pradesh and her family to abandon their trip to the Ayyappa temple.
As angry protesters went after her, shouting and abusing, Madhavi made a decision to return.
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Security forces have been deployed and they have already stopped many Hindu groups from preventing women entering the temple. We had many such wrongful traditions.
"I refuse to believe that this could not have been avoided", Republic TV bureau chief Pooja Prasanna said about having her vehicle battered by a group of angry men while she was inside. "Ayyappa needs to be respected".
Since a state court ruling in 1991, the centuries-old temple has barred women and girls ages 10 to 50 from entering.
A total 30 people have been arrested in Pamba -- nine on Tuesday and 21 so far on Wednesday, in connection with protests against the entry of women into the Sabarimala Temple.
Two women devotees reach Sabarimala temple, sent back by protesters, reports NDTV. The celibate nature of the presiding deity of the temple was cited to keep women out of the temple.
He claimed to have the support of several "scientists" that concurred with the view that the "positive energy" in a temple can be polluted by the entry of menstruating women.
The protesters have proved that they will not allow the execution of the supreme court order.
Those stopped trying to make it to the site, where an annual pilgrimage later in the year attracts millions of devotees, included female journalists.