Kerala On Edge as Mobs Heckle Women Trying to Enter Sabarimala

Kerala's Sabarimala Temple on Wednesday, 17 October, opened its gates to all devotees, including menstruating women, but the chaos surrounding it is far from over. The MHA has taken cognisance of the violence that took place in the state.

Section 144 will be imposed in four areas - Nilakkal, Pamba, Sannidhanam and Elavumkal on Thursday.

Tension prevailed in Kerala's Nilakkal, the main gateway to Sabarimala, after the police used force to disperse devotees opposing the entry of girls and women of menstrual age into the hill shrine.

The Supreme Court last month had lifted the ban on women of menstruating ages (10-50) from entering the temple.

  • In a 4:1 verdict, the Supreme Court had granted women, of all age groups, entry into Kerala’s Sabarimala templeA high-level meeting of the
  • Travancore Devaswom Board, which manages the shrine, was called on Tuesday
  • The Board is expected to ask the Supreme Court for more time to implement its verdict

High-Level Meeting of Travancore Devaswom Board on Tuesday

The Travancore Devaswom Board, which manages the shrine, has invited representatives of Pandalam Royal Family, Sabarimala priests, priests organisation and Hindu organisations for a high-level meeting on Tuesday – the day the annual pilgrimage season begins.

Also Read: Not Our Fight: Kerala Hindus Divided On Sabarimala Protests

The meeting will be held at Devaswom board office in Thiruvananthapuram.

(With inputs from PTI, ANI, The Indian Express, The Times of India and The News Minute)

Protests to Reach Thiruvananthapuram

A day before the gate to the Sabarimala shrine in Kerala is set to be thrown open to women of all age groups, in accordance with a Supreme Court ruling last month, thousands of Lord Ayyappa devotees – men and women – held protests. The annual pilgrimage season starts on Tuesday, 16 October.

In a 4:1 verdict, the Supreme Court had granted women, of all age groups, entry into Kerala's Sabarimala temple, breaking the temple’s age-old tradition of restricting menstruating women from entering its premises.

Also Read: Rip Apart Women Who Enter Sabarimala: Malayalam Actor Thulasi

The five-judge bench, headed by then CJI Dipak Misra with Justices RF Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra pronounced the verdict, with Malhotra dissenting.

A protest march by the BJP is expected to reach the Kerala Secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram today, 15 October.

Shiv Sena Threatens Mass Suicides

The Kerala unit of Shiv Sena on Saturday, 13 October threatened to stage mass suicides if women in 10-50 age group are allowed to enter the Sabarimala temple in Kerala.

P Aji, a senior Shiv Sena leader, told IANS here that their "suicide squads" comprising men and women above 50 are ready for the supreme sacrifice.

"“Our members will be stationed at various places in and around the (Sabarimala) temple and if any woman not supposed to enter the temple is granted access, then their suicide squad members will take their lives.”" - P Aji

The Shiv Sena’s threat comes hours after gender equality activist Trupti Desai on Saturday said that she is determined to visit the temple shortly.

"We want the temple tradition and culture to be protected and that's our only demand. Hundreds of our activists will reach the temple town on October 17 and guard all entry points to the famed temple," added Aji.

'Onlooker' Kamal Haasan Says 'No Comments' on Sabarimala

Makkal Needhi Maiam’s Kamal Haasan refused to comment on the Sabarimala issue. He said that the matter was between the Supreme Court and the devotees and that he was ‘just an onlooker’.

BJP Gives 24-hour Ultimatum to Kerala Govt

BJP state president PS Sreedharan Pillai on Monday, 15 october, said if the state government failed to resolve the issue at the earliest, the BJP-NDA's agitation would ‘take a new turn’, reported PTI.

"“We will meet each villager in Kerala and chalk out a massive agitation plan to protect the Sabarimala Temple, its centuries-old traditions and the sentiments of Lord Ayyappa devotees.”" - PS Sreedharan Pillai, Kerala BJP President

Claiming that their first phase of the Sabarimala stir was a major 'milestone,' the BJP said if the CPM-led LDF government does not find a solution in the next 24 hours, the party-led NDA would chalk out a 'massive' agitation plan to reach their goal, PTI reported.

AHP Threatens 'Hartal' in Kerala

Antarrashtriya Hindu Parishad (AHP) president Pravin Togadia called for a hartal in the state on 18 October if the Left government implements the apex court order on Sabarimala.

"“We demand that the state government file a review petition in the Supreme Court. While that petition is pending, they should not implement the court order.”" - Pravin Togadia, AHP President

If the state fails to do so, the AHP would announce a strike in Kerala on 17 October, 10 pm to 18 October, he said.

Warning that AHP would expand the agitation to other parts of the country, Togadia demanded that the Centre come out with an ordinance to overcome the apex court order, PTI reported.

Thackarey Must Clear Stand on Sabarimala: Activist Trupti Desai

Even as the Kerala unit of Shiv Sena threatens to stage mass suicides if women are allowed to enter the Sabarimala temple in Kerala, activist Trupti Desai, the head of Bhumata Brigade, asked Sena chief Uddhav Thackarey to clarify the outfit’s stand on the issue.

The Indian Express quoted Desai as saying: “Does the Shiv Sena support entry of women into Sabarimala temple? Is it in favour of women or against the Constitution which grants equal right to pray… Does it favour orthodox beliefs and wrong religious practices? The Sena needs to clarify its stand.”

Appealing to Thackeray to make his stand clear, Desai said, as per the report: “We expect Thackeray, as the party head, to step in and direct its unit not to violate the constitutional rights of women. We expect the Sena chief will issue appropriate directions to its Kerala unit to not resort to such threatening tactics.”

Kerala Brahmana Sabha Files Review Petition in SC

The women's wing of the Kerala Brahmana Sabha has filed a review petition in the Supreme Court against the verdict allowing entry of women of all ages to the temple, The Times of India reported

The petition has alleged that the affidavit filed by the CPM-led LDF government was aimed at promoting atheism in line with the government's political ideology and hence, the Constitution bench should not have taken it into consideration.

It has also said that for changing temple customs the government should have amended the law, the report added.

Chief Priest Warns of Violence If Women Enter Sabarimala

25-year-old chief priest of Sabarimala temple, Maheshwararu Tantri, has warned of violence if women between age of 10 and 50 attempt to enter the shrine, reported The Times of India.

Kandararu Maheshwararu Tantri told TOI, “At no time before, has Kerala united like this. This is to us what Jallikattu was to Tamil Nadu. See the protests that are unfolding on the streets. This anger could easily escalate into violence if a few egoistic women try to enter Sabarimala on October 17.”

Regardless of the Supreme Court’s judgment, Kerala has been witnessing widespread condemnation and protest against removal of ban on women’s entry by the court.

The doors of the temple will be unlocked for darshan on 17 October, Wednesday for the first time after country’s top court allowed women to enter Sabarimala.

Travancore Devaswom Board May Ask SC For More Time to Implement Verdict

The Travancore Devaswom Board, which is responsible for running the temple, held a meeting on Tuesday, 16 October, g with the tantri (supreme priest), Pandalam’s erstwhile royal family and other stakeholders, in an attempt to spread out the process of implementation.

The Travancore Devaswom Board meets ahead of opening of Sabarimala Temple on Wednesday, 17 October. 

The Board may ask the Supreme Court for some time to implement its verdict, sources told Hindustan Times.

According to sources, the temple board may cite poor infrastructure as the reason for why it is asking more time from the apex court.

Kerala Woman Observes 41-Day Fast to Go to Sabarimala

In a Facebook post on Sunday, 14 October, 32-year-old Reshma Nishanth, a woman from Kannapuram in Kannur, announced that she is observing her 41-day penance to visit Sabarimala, following the Supreme Court verdict allowing women of all ages to enter the temple, The News Minute reported.

"With the Supreme Court verdict allowing women, I now have a deep desire to visit Lord Ayyappa. Although I don’t intend to start a revolution by entering the temple, I feel that a devotee preparing to climb the Sabarimala will energise lakhs of devotees who would want to visit the temple later." - Reshma Nishanth to The News Minute

Pilgrims Begin Arriving in Pampa

Pilgrims started arriving in Pampa on Tuesday, 16 October, as the Sabarimala Temple gets set to open its gate to all devotees.

Female Devotees, Journalists Being Stopped at Base Camp

Female devotees ad journalists are allegedly being stopped at the base camp from proceeding towards the Sabarimala temple, by the protesters, who have also reportedly started halting cars heading towards the traditional trekking routes towards the temple, to see if any woman is trying to enter the same, News18 reported.

Additionally, about 30 different organisations have sent protesting groups to the base camp, in an attempt to hold demonstrations against the apex court verdict.

Will Not Let Anyone Take Law & Order in Their Hands: CM

In face of the ongoing protests against the verdict, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, on Tuesday, 16 October, reiterated that the state government would ensure that all necessary facilities were made available to all devotees- men and women alike- to go to the Sabarimala temple and offer their prayers.

"We will not allow anyone to take law and order in their hands...Government will not submit a review petition. We’ve said in court that we’ll implement the order." - CM Pinarayi Vijayan 

Meeting Wasn't Satisfactory: Pandalam Palace

Speaking on behalf of the Pandalam Palace, its managing committee President, PG Sasikumar called the meeting held with the Travancore Devaswom Board “unsatisfactory”. He added that that the Palace had urged the Board to file a review petition and that until it was “disposed off”, there was a need for the “status quo to be maintained”, ANI reported.

"Board said that they can discuss about review petition on 19 October. We’re upset that they’re unwilling to discuss it today. Meeting wasn’t satisfactory. We came out of meeting, because they’re not ready to accept our demands" - PG Sasikumar

Kerala Woman Attempts to Kill Self Over SC's Verdict on Sabarimala

A woman attempted to hang herself from a tree in Thiruvananthapuram in protest against the Supreme Court's verdict over the entry of women of all age groups in Sabarimala Temple.

She was later saved by locals and the police, ANI reported.

Women Journalists Forced to Deboard Bus Going to Pamba

A large group of women protesters have been stationed at the base camp in Nilakkal to halt women traveling to Pamba and other areas closer to the Sabrimala temple.

On Tuesday morning, protesters forced three women to deboard a KSRTC bus after blocking the vehicle at Nilakkal.

The three women were students of journalism who were traveling to Pamba to cover the protests. They were asked to return to Kottayam, from where they began the journey.

Two other women journalists traveling to Pamba were stopped at Nilakkal and asked to report from there, according to sources.

(The News Minute)

Talks Between Erswhile Royal Pandalam Family & TDB End Abruptly

An already heated meeting held between the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) with the members of Pandalam – erstwhile royal family and thanthris (high priests) to discuss the Sabarimala temple women entry case came to an abrupt end on Monday afternoon.

Pandalam family and thanthri representatives reportedly left the meeting with TDB officials in anger before it concluded.

The Pandalam family wanted the TDB to file a review petition with the Supreme Court on Monday itself. However, TDB rejected the Pandalam family’s demand, stating that it could discuss filing the review petition only during its next meeting, to be held on 19 October.

(The News Minute)

Heavy Security Deployed in Nilakkal and Pampa Areas

Heavy security has been deployed near Nilakkal, the main gateway to Sabarimala Temple, as the gates of the temple are all set to open today.

A total of 1000 security personnel, comprising of 800 men and 200 women, have been deployed at Nilakkal and Pampa areas, according to ANI. The police used force to disperse devotees opposing the entry of girls and women.

Heavy security deployed in Nilakkal area.
Heavy security deployed in Nilakkal area.

The state police force decided to clampdown on devotee protest movement and removed the protest tent of the Sabarimala Samrakshana Samiti in the wee hours of Wednesday morning. Police dispersed scores of devotees who were actively camping at Nilakkal and blocking women from going further, The News Minute reported.

At around 3:30 am on Wednesday, 17 October, there was a clash between the police and devotees groups - who were blocking all vehicles coming through that route.

CM Vijayan Stands Firm on Sabarimala Issue, Says Rituals Must Change

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan seems to be firm on his government’s stand in the issue.

CM Vijayan said that the LDF Government has always believed that women should get equal opportunities as men and that in 2007, when LDF was in power, it had submitted an affidavit to the SC, demanding that women should be allowed inside the temple.

“Rituals and traditions should change with time. In the past, you could only enter the temple after having a bath in the pond. That is not the case now. Earlier, women did not have any right to inherit property. But is that the case now?” he asked.

(The News Minute)

Pilgrims Begin Arriving at Nilakkal

Women Are Fighting Women on Being Allowed Entry: BJP's Udit Raj

BJP MP Udit Raj, in an interview with ANI, spoke about how ridiculous it is that women are fighting against women for an “unequal” status, by supporting the groups protesting against the entry of women of menstrual age, into the temple.

Emphasizing on the fact that this was his personal opinion and not political by any means, he said that at a time when women are finally calling out men for harassment as per the #MeToo campaign, the women protesting Sabarimala entry are demanding to be inferior to men.

"I have seen fight for equality, not for slavery and inequality. On one hand, fight against atrocities by men is going on in the nation & on the other hand, women are fighting against their own freedom and rights. " - BJP’s Udit Raj to BJP 

Protests Being Held Near Pamba Base Camp

Protests have broken out near the Pamba base camp, to demonstrate against the Supreme Court’s verdict allowing women of all ages to enter the Temple.

Same People Who Supported Triple Talaq Verdict, Protesting Against Sabarimala: Swamy

Dissing the argument put forth by those protesting the Supreme Court verdict, which allowed women of menstruating age entry to the Sabarimala temple- that this went against their “tradition”, Subramanian Swamy, likened the situation to the post-Triple Talaq verdict, and said- “everybody was applauding when it was abolished”.

Speaking to ANI, he asked why the same people, who showed relief about the Triple Talaq judgement, have taken to the streets to protest against the Sabarimala verdict, which also extends liberation to women.

"Supreme Court has made a decision, but now you are saying that it’s our tradition. Triple Talaq is also a tradition in that way, everybody was applauding when it was abolished. The same Hindus have come on the streets now." - Subramanian Swamy to ANI

Congress, BJP Hold Protests at Pamba, Nilakkal

Both the Congress and the BJP are holding protests at Pamba and Nilakkal, a few hours before the temple gates are to be open to all devotees at 5 pm.

While the BJP has completely expressed its support with the orthodox devotees protesting against the entry of women, the Congress said it is holding a hunger strike only in solidarity with the protesters, insteading of opposing women's entry, Firstpost reported.

Six protesters have been arrested since Tuesday, 16 October, evening, News18 reported.

Woman Journalist Tries to Enter Sabarimala, Faces Angry Protesters

A young woman named Libi CS, a journalist and editor of a news website called Newsgil, faced angry opposition at the Pathanamthitta new bus stand, when she arrived there from Cherthala in order to travel to Sabarimala temple in Pamba.

Libi CS, who was unaccompanied, was soon gheraoed by an angry crowd of locals, comprising of both shouting men and young women, who were trying to take a swipe at her. Police immediately descended upon the site and formed a protective ring around Libi to keep the protestors at bay, The News Minute reported.

സുഹൃത്തുക്കളെ, ഞങ്ങൾ നാലുപേർ ഇന്ന് ശബരിമലയ്ക്ക് പോകുകയാണ്.അതിൽ ഞാൻ ഉൾപ്പെടെ രണ്ടുപേർ നിരീശ്വരവാദികളും രണ്ടുപേർ...

Posted by Libi C S on  Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Madhavi (40), was the first woman who attempted to enter the temple after the SC verdict, and was accompanied by three women, three children and one elderly man.

Madhavi and the rest of the group were very hopeful in the beginning with police protection. But when the police did not accompany them after a point, they decided to leave, The News Minute reported.

Protesters Pelt Stones at Devotee's Vehicle in Nilakkal

Stones were reportedly pelted at a devotee’s vehicle in Nilakkal on Wednesday, 17 october, as anti-women protesters were agitated after the police refused to let them search the vehicle.

16 protesters have been arrested from Nilakkal so far, News18 reported. In Pamba too, the police have detained many protesting against the Supreme Court verdict, ANI reported.

Police detain protesters at Pamba.
Police detain protesters at Pamba.

TNM Reporter Attacked by Protesting Mob

A reporter with The News Minute, Saritha S Balan, has been attacked by a mob of anti-women Sabarimala protesters, who were chanting slogans in the name of Lord Ayyappa while attacking women.

The police has taken her and other reporters to a police station. However, a mob seems to be waiting outside the premises.

Republic TV journalist Pooja Prasanna was also attacked by protesters present at Nilakkal. The channel's car was also attacked, their windshield and rear bumper were smashed and their equipment was taken, The News Minute reported.

Gender Equality Activist Trupti Desai Speaks on Verdict

Speaking about the ongoing protests in front of the Sabarimala temple, where several women attempting to enter the temple have either been turned back or attacked by the angry mob holding the protests, gender equality activist, Trupti Desai, implored the mob to carry out their protests in a “peaceful manner”.

“My message to Lord Ayyappa devotees and other protesters is that if you have to protest, do it in a Gandhian way, in a peaceful manner,” she said.

Congress Workers Hold Peaceful Protests Against Womens' Entry

Congres Party leaders protesting in Nilakkal against the entry of women in the Sabarimala temple.

Congress party leaders in Kerala held a peaceful protest in Nilakkal against the entry of women of 10 - 50 years of age to the Sabarimala temple.

Former Head Priest's Wife Detained

The wife of former Sabarimala head priest has also been detained ahead of the opening of the temple’s doors for women (aged 10 - 50 years old), CNN News18 reported. She was also protesting against the entry of women in Nilakkal.

Along with her, several protestors were also detained by the police.

Over 20 People Taken into Custody for Protesting the Entry of Women

Over 20 people including former Travancore Devaswom Board President Prayar Gopalakrishnan have been taken into custody in Nilakkal and Pamba for protesting against the entry of women in age group of 10 to 50 years-old to Sabarimala temple, ANI reported.

CPJ Condemns Attacks on Journalists During Sabarimala Protests

The Committee for Protection of Journalists (CPJ) condemned the attack on women journalists from The News Minute and Republic at the Sabrimala Temple protests, where people are protesting the entry of women in the temple.

The CPJ also urged the Chief Minister of Kerala to instruct the police to do more to ensure reporters are allowed to do their job irrespective of their gender.

50 People Detained in Pathanamthitta District

About 50 people have been taken into custody in the Pathanamthitta district in Kerala for protesting against the entry of women to the Sabarimala temple, despite the SC order allowing women’s entry into the temple.

Woman Returns Mid-Way After Facing Protestors

Protestors against women’s entry in the Sabarimala temple, on Wednesday forced a 40-year-old woman and her family to abandon their trip to the temple.

Madhavi, along with her parents and children, was asked to return mid-way from her journey after the police assured her that she can proceed.

CNN-News18 Crew Car Vandalised in Nilakkal

A CNN-News18 crew, reporting on the protests was attacked in Nilakkal. The group of protesters vandalised the crew car carrying their reporter Radhika Ramaswamy.

The protestors had gathered in Nilakkal to stop anyone going towards Pamba.

30 People Arrested in Two Days of Protests

In the two days of protests trying to curb the entry of women to the Sabarimala temple, a total of 30 people have been arrested so far – nine were arrested on Tuesday while 21 were arrested today (17 October).

Two of them have already got bail as well.

Tribals Allege Govt Trying to Demolish Centuries-Old Customs

Tribals living in the hills around Sabarimala alleged that the government and the Travancore Devaswom Board were trying to demolish centuries-old customs by allowing entry of women in the 10-50 age group into the famous Sabarimala temple.

They claimed that restrictions imposed on women in the menstruating age group were part of a custom prevailing in tribal societies living in the forests in Kerala.

Kerala Minister Shuns BJP for Double Standards

VS Sunil, Minister for Agriculture in Kerala said that the RSS and BJP are having double standards. He said that on one hand, five advocates associated with BJP gave the verdict over entry of women of all ages in Sabarimala temple, and on the other hand, BJP is leading the fight against the verdict.

"Now BJP is trying to make it a law and order issue." - VS Sunil, Agriculture Minister, Kerala

Poojnar MLA Says Attacks on Media Caused by What They Have Done

A Member of the Legislative Assembly from Poojnar, vice-chairman of Kerala Congress (M), PC George said that no attack has taken place on the media. He also said that it has happened because of what the media has done.

"Whatever has happened to you (the media) is because of what you have done." - PC George

As Protests Intensify, Kerala CM Leaves for UAE

As the Sabarimala crisis has reached a flashpoint, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will be leaving for a four-day UAE trip on Wednesday, 17 October without handing over charge to any other minister. He will monitor the governance online from there, the Times of India reported.

Police Records Statements of Journalists

The police in Nilakkal have recorded the statements of the journalists that have been attacked during the protests, The News Minute reported.

A journalist from The News Minute, one from Republic and one from CNN News 18 were attacked as they were reporting the protests.

Protestors Stop Tractor Filled with Police Personnel

The situation in Pamba has worsened, News18 reported. A tractor with police personnel in it was allegedly stopped by protestors. The protestors are looking to take law and order into their own hands.

India Today Reporter Also Attacked After News18 and The News Minute Journos

After reported attacks on News18, The News Minute and Republic journalists, an India Today journalist is also reported to have been attacked by a big mob. Mausami Singh, the sub editor for India Today was reporting on the protests since morning, when a big mob attacked her and her crew during the afternoon.

According to Mausami, the protestors pulled her hair, pushed her around and slapped her and her crew. She also said that they tried to break the crew’s camera as they were upset that the issue was being reported.

"The mob has totally taken over the law and order situation here." - Mausami Singh, India Today Journalist

Rahul Easwar Detained by Kerala Police

Rahul Easwar, who has been leading protests against entry to women into the Sabarimala temple has been detained by the police, the News Minute reported.

NDTV Reporter Heckled by Protesters

The mob attacks on women mediapersons who have gone to cover protests near Kerala's Sabarimala Temple are increasing gradually.

NDTV was stopped from covering the protests and their reporter Sneha Mary Koshy and cameraperson SP Babu were heckled and asked to leave.

Republic TV Crew Attacked Enroute Sabarimala

Protesters blocked and attacked Republic TV journalist Pooja Prasanna's car in Pathanamthitta enroute Sabarimala temple.

Govt Bound to Implement SC Order: Kerala Minister

Kerala Minister K K Shailaja said that dirty politics is being played in the name of protests and the state government is bound to implement the Supreme Court order.

“I can predict what is going on there, I think it is intentional. It's dirty politics they (protesters) are playing. We can't say if they are actual devotees. Supreme Court's order is constitutional and the government is bound to implement it,” she told ANI.

NCW Takes Cognizance of Attack on Women Journalists

National Commission for Women (NCW) has taken cognizance of the attack on women journalists, ANI reported. A meeting is underway at NCW office for further steps to be taken.

Police Lathi Charge Protestors at Nilakkal Base Camp

Police lathi charge protestors gathered at Nilakkal base camp in Kerala.

Non-Bailable FIR Registered Against Rahul Easwar

Activist Rahul Easwar has been arrested from Nilakkal base camp and a non-bailable FIR has been registered against him. He is kept at Pamba police station.

“I didn't hit any woman there. I was moving to the other direction. It's a vendetta against me,” he told ANI.

State Govt Responsible for Law and Order: Kerala BJP

Kerala BJP leader MS Kumar said that the government’s claims of the BJP being responsible for the situation were unfortunate.

“LDF government is fully responsible for any law and order situation in state. It's a very unfortunate situation, we aren't responsible. No BJP worker is involved, we're condemning that attempt,” said Kumar.

ANI Reporter Attacked at Nilakkal Base Camp

ANI reporter Ayushmann Kumar was attacked by protestors at Nilakkal base camp when he was taking pictures of women checking the buses for women devotees. Police was also present at the spot when the attack took place.

Sabarimala Temple Opens Gates for All Devotees

Sabarimala temple opened its gates to all devotees, including menstruating women, amid violent protests.

The gates will remain open till 10.30 pm. The portals will remain open till 22nd October.

Protests Continue at Pamba

Protests continue at Pamba against SC's verdict over the entry of women of all age groups in Sabarimala temple.

Right Wing Outfits Call for Strikes Starting Midnight

Right wing outfit, 'Antharashtriya Hindu Parishad' led by Pravin Togadia and the 'Sabarimala Samrakshana Samithi', an outfit of devotees, have called a 24-hour-long hartal starting midnight.

Section 144 To Be Imposed in Four Areas

Section 144 will be imposed in four areas - Nillakkal, Pamba, Sannidhanam and Elavumkal on Thursday, TNM reported quoting Pathanamthitta District Collector PB Nooh. It will remain in effect for two days.

The collector also said that there would be no obstruction to peaceful pilgrims, and permissions will not be granted for any protests whatsoever.

RSS-BJP Behind Violence: Kerala Minister

Kerala minister EP Jayarajan on Wednesday blamed RSS for violence over Sabarimala issue.

“RSS criminals hid in forests and attacked the Ayappa devotees. 10 media personnel, five devotees and fifteen policemen were attacked,” he said.

“10 KSRTC buses were damaged. Devotees from other states were beaten up and sent back. RSS-BJP is behind all of this. Supreme Court rule applies to all, the government is just following and implementing it,” he added.

Devotees Offer Prayers at Sabarimala Temple

Prayers are being offered at Sabarimala temple after the gates were opened at 5 pm for all devotees including menstruation women.

ANI Reporter Slapped by Protestors for Shooting Video

ANI reporter Karam Ingerlose was slapped by protesters, his phone was snatched and broken into pieces while he was shooting a video in Erumely. The protesters asked him to apologise for shooting the video and released him only after he did so.

Police Personnel Vandalise Vehicles of Protestors

Police personnel vandalised vehicles of protestors parked enroute Sabarimala temple.

Indian Man in Saudi Arabia Sacked for Derogatory Remarks Against Women Amid Sabarimala Row

An Indian man in Saudi Arabia has been fired from his job for posting "derogatory comments" on women, amid the Sabarimala temple row.

Deepak Pavithram, a Keralite working with Lulu Hypermarket in Riyadh, was sacked on Tuesday for making misogynistic and insensitive remarks about women on social media.

"We have a strict and zero tolerance policy with regard to our staff misusing social media to spread malicious or derogatory comments which might hurt religious sentiments," V Nandakumar, Chief Communications Officer at Lulu Group, told Khaleej Times.

Non-Bailable Warrants Being Issued Against Those Accused of Attacks on Journalists

Non-bailable warrants are being issued against those behind attacks on journalists, CNN-News18 reported quoting Industries Minister E P Jayarajan.

MHA Takes Cognizance of Violence in Kerala

The Ministry of Home Affairs has taken cognisance of the incidents of violence that took place in Kerala on Wednesday over Sabarimala row, ANI reported.

Devotees Climb Pathinettam Padi to Enter Sabarimala Temple

Devotees climb the sacred Pathinettam Padi to enter the Sabarimala temple to offer prayers.

Bus Vandalised Near Nilakkal Base Camp

A bus, carrying journalists among other passengers was vandalised at Laka near Nilakkal base camp by protesters on Wednesday evening. Stones were also pelted on the bus.

Sitaram Yechury Condemns Attacks on Women Journalists

CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury condemned the attacks on journalists covering the Sabarimala temple row.

“ Condemnable!The way women journalists were manhandled by so called devotees is unacceptable. Who are those attacking others and not allowing implementation of SC order? Contempt of court is a crime. They should be punished,” said Yechury.

Menstruating Women Stay Away From Sabarimala Amid Violence

While Women above 50 yrs of age were seen entering Sabarimala temple on Wednesday, women between 10-50 years of age didn't visit due to security concerns in the light of protests, ANI reported.

Kerala BJP Demands Ordinance

President Tamilisai Soundararajan Wednesday said the Kerala government can consider bringing an ordinance to reinforce the ban on women of menstrual age from entering the hill shrine of Lord Ayyappa at Sabarimala.

She also accused the LDF government in Kerala of acting against Hindu sentiments.

"...the state government can bring an ordinance," she told reporters in response to questions on the proests against the supreme court order lifting the ban on entry of women in the age group of 10-50 into the temple.

. Read more on India by The Quint.NYT Journalist on Her Way to Sabarimala Stopped, Abandons JourneyKerala On Edge as Mobs Heckle Women Trying to Enter Sabarimala . Read more on India by The Quint.