Protests continue in India after women defy temple ban

Monitoring Desk

NEW DELHI: A man was killed in a violent protest in India’s southern state of Kerala that erupted after two women defied centuries-old ban and entered a Hindu temple on Wednesday, local media reported on Thursday.

The situation in the state remains tense as right-wing Hindu activists continued blocking roads and forcing closure of shops and markets in different parts of the state, local ANI news agency said in a report.

Loknath Behara, director general of police in the state, warned that violence in any form will not be allowed in the state. Many educational institutions in the state have postponed their examinations because of the strike.

The police has also detained two people for allegedly sparking violence in the vicinity of Sabarimala temple. In September 2018, the Indian Supreme Court had ordered to lift the ban on women or girls of menstruating age from entering the temple. But, the temple and devotees refused to implement the ruling, saying Lord Ayyappa, a Hindu deity, was celibate.

On Wednesday, the women — identified as Bindu Ammini and Kanaka Durga, who are said to be in their mid-40s — entered Sabarimala temple and prayed, according to NDTV, a local broadcaster.

The temple was shut down for an hour and a half for “purification” once the reports about the women’s visit to temple was confirmed, local broadcasters reported. The temple draws millions of worshippers a year. (AA)