A 52-year-old woman has been reportedly injured after the protesting devotees targeted her and other media persons at the Sabarimala temple on Tuesday morning.
A throng of devotees gathered at Sannidhanam or the inner courtyard, near the Nadapandal, and raised slogans after reports of a woman devotee, suspected to be in the menstrual age, tried to enter the temple.
The cameraperson and the driver of a local news channel were also reportedly injured in the clash. As per ANI, the injured person has been identified as Amrita TV cameraperson Biju.
The police later confirmed that the woman, Lalitha (52) from Thrissur, did not belong to 10-50 age group. She, along with her family, was then escorted to a medical centre in Sannidhanam by the police. The woman has confirmed to the media that she is of the permissible age and she will go to the temple to have darshan of Lord Ayyappa.
#Kerala: Lalitha (Pic 1: in the centre), a 52-year-old woman devotee from Thrissur, whose entry to #SabarimalTemple was opposed by protesters, offered prayers at the temple under police protection. She had come along with her family. pic.twitter.com/RdJeWflhk4
— ANI (@ANI) November 6, 2018
After her age was confirmed, the devotees allowed her entry and Lalitha was escorted for a darshan under police protection. As per reports, the woman told reporters and devotees that she is 52 and has come to attend her grandchild’s ‘Choroonu’ or first rice-feeding ceremony at Pamba Ganapathy temple. After the clashes, she was moved to the nearby Sannidhanam hospital where she has confirmed that she wishes to visit the Sabarimala temple.
The Sabarimala opened its door for the second time after the Supreme Court’s verdict which allowed the women of menstruating age to enter the shrine, lifting the age-old tradition which barres women of age group 10-50 years from entering the shrine.
Security had been tightened as the Sabarimala shrine was reopened for devotees on November 5 and 6 for a two-day ritual of “Chitira Atta Thirunal” puja and would close on. The Kerala Police has deployed nearly 2,300 police personnel in and around the hill shrine.
In the wake of violent protests which eventuated last month, the state police decided to increase the deployment in and around the shrine, and twenty commando teams and over 100 women battalion were positioned around the shrine.