2 women below 50 enter Kerala`s Sabarimala Temple

Some 5 Million Indian Women Form Massive Human Chain for Gender Equality (PHOTO)

It was not immediately clear how the two women managed to evade the traditionalists early on Wednesday.

Last year, violent protests broke out in the state after India's top court in September ordered the authorities to lift the ban on women or girls of menstruating age from entering the temple, which draws millions of worshippers a year. "Police are duty-bound to give them protection", Vijayan said. Their journey to the hill began from Pamba at 1:30 am and got their darshan by 3:30 am. Over a dozen women made unsuccessful bids to offer prayers. The policemen who had escorted them took them back by force.

Despite the ruling, demonstrators including Hindu priests and conservatives continued to block women of menstruating age from entering the centuries-old temple.

Why are women of a certain age not allowed to enter Sabarimala? "I believe men and women are equal". "This can not be allowed", the activist said.

The event, according to news agency PTI, came only days after after thousands of devotees lit "Ayyappa Jyothies" (lighting of sacred lamps) and lined up from Hosangadi in Kasargod to Kanyakumari, vowing to protect the age-old customs and traditions of Sabarimala.

"If there is a divine intervention, definitely, the verdict will be in favour of us", Nair added. The BJP and Sangh Parivar activists blocked National Highways and forced shops to close in many places.

Police fired tear gas, stun grenades and water cannon as protests and clashes between rival groups erupted across the southern state of Kerala, local media reported, with several officers injured.

The protests led to violence in the area forcing the police to impose restrictions and prohibitory orders and arrest dozens of people.

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The temple which opened at 3 am was closed at 10.30 am for performing the ritual. Sasikala said the protests would continue till Pinarayi Vijayan resigns as chief minister.

State BJP chief P S Sreedharan Pillai said the Kerala government will face the "wrath" of Lord Ayyappa. "This is a backdoor entry facilitated by the government as per a conspiracy".

Ms Ammini said they did not climb the steps because they did not want to attract the attention of too many devotees and feared they might be attacked. This can not be healed easily.

Ammini later told a local television channel about their stealthy trek to the temple in the middle of the night.

Sabarimala: Two women below 50 years of age enter temple? He said that the women had gone to Sabarimala with the help of CPM leaders. These two women have protected India's constitutional rights and smashed the walls of patriarchy.

As per news reports, the women trekked to the hill shrine early Wednesday.

He said that the government could not prevent women from entering the temple after the 28 September verdict of the Supreme Court.

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