Sabarimala temple protests LIVE Updates: Two dozen protesters taken into custody by police, Section 144 imposed

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Updated:Dec 23, 2018 4:23:25 pm

Sabarimala temple protests LIVE Updates: The women faced the first hurdle when priests at Sabarimala temple refused to take part in the ritual that every pilgrim undergoes when they prepare the holy kit that is carried on the pilgrims head.

Sabarimala temple protests LIVE Updates

Sabarimala temple protests LIVE Updates: A group of 11 women below the age of 50 years, who had arrived from Tamil Nadu on Sunday morning, to climb atop the hill shrine and offer prayers to Lord Ayappa, had to return without offering prayers at the Sabarimala temple amid protests. Hundreds of devotees blocked paths and chased away the group being escorted to the hill shrine by the police. They could barely move 100 metres through the traditional path towards the Sabarimala temple, which is about five km away from Pamba base camp. This was the 11th attempt by women devotees since October to enter the Sabarimala shrine, which also failed on Sunday.

Police have detained Lord Ayyappa devotees protesting against the entry of women devotees to Sabarimala temple at Pamba base camp as the state administration implemented Section 144. The prohibitory orders have been extended till December 27 to maintain the law and order situation. The order prohibits unlawful gathering and protest between Elavungal and Sannidhanam.

Read | Sabarimala row hits temple coffers, may pinch Kerala economy

Members of the Chennai-based ‘Manithi’ outfit, the women are squatting on the road since 5.20 am following the continuing protests even as the police have thrown a security cover around them. The police officials also held talks with the representatives of the outfit. But the talks have largely failed as the coordinator of the outfit, Selvi, insists that they would not return without darshan. Six of the 11 women, who are part of the group, are carrying the traditional irumudikettu which is mandatory to climb the ‘pathinettam padi’ (holy steps leading to sanctum sanctorum). The women insist that they want police protection to offer prayers at the shrine.

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Sabarimala protests LIVE updates: Ayyappa devotees block the road to Sabarimala temple

16:23 (IST)23 Dec 2018
Sabarimala protests LIVE updates: Fall in number of pilgrims

The present two-month-long pilgrim season began on November 16 and compared to the previous ones has seen an uneasy calm. The number of pilgrims has dwindled drastically and temple revenues have also dipped. State Minister for Devasoms (Temples) Kadakampally Surendran told reporters that the final decision on Sabarimala issue rests with the Kerala High Court-appointed three member committee.

15:55 (IST)23 Dec 2018
Sabarimala protests LIVE updates: Protests since September

Sabarimala has been witnessing protests ever since September. Before Selvie's group, around two dozen other women have already tried and failed to go up the pathway leading to the temple even after the top court's verdict on September 28 allowing women of all ages to enter the temple.

15:18 (IST)23 Dec 2018
Sabarimala temple protests Live Updates: Two dozen protesters taken into custody by police

At least 24 protesters were taken into custody by the police near the Sabarimala temple on Sunday as they were protesting against a group of 11 Tamil women devotees who wanted to perform a Sabarimala darshan. The women devotees were forced to leave after protests turned violent.

14:08 (IST)23 Dec 2018
Will act according to High Court-appointed monitoring panel directive, says state Devaswom Minister to BJP

As the Pandalam royal family and the opposition BJP accused the Kerala government of taking the "activist women" with police protection, Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran said they would act according to directives of the Kerala High Court-appointed monitoring panel. "We hope that that the high court appointed three-member panel will look into the matter and take a suitable decision in this regard. The government will act according to that,” the minister told reporters.

14:00 (IST)23 Dec 2018
Sabarimala protests LIVE updates: Police unwilling to use force

The police were unwilling to resort to using the force against the protesters at Pamba base camp in Kerala. In a statement, a senior police official said that any such action may lead to law and order problem. "The women devotees have returned now. We can't use force. It might create a law and order problem."

13:47 (IST)23 Dec 2018
Sabarimala protests LIVE updates: Women devotees to return without offering prayers

As many as 11 women devotees who had come to offer prayers at Sabarimala temple Sunday morning had to return back after they were stopped by other devotees, according to reports. Police official Shaji Sugunan said that the women devotees have returned now. He also said that the police did not use force against the devotees.

13:40 (IST)23 Dec 2018
No protests or demonstrations should be held at Sabarimala: Kerala High Court

Devotees defy the orders of Kerala High Court as they stage a protest today when the women below the age of 50 years began to trek the hill shrine of Lord Ayyappa. The Kerala High Court had in November ordered that no protests or demonstrations should be held at Sabarimala. The HC held that it was not a place for such activities. The police later detained the devotees.

13:08 (IST)23 Dec 2018
Sabarimala protests LIVE updates: BJP leader observes sit-in hunger strike

BJP leader Sobha Surendran continues her hunger strike in Kerala's capital Trivandrum to protest against the entry of women in the age group of 10-50 years into Sabarimala temple.

12:58 (IST)23 Dec 2018
Sabarimala protests LIVE updates: Please give us way, we will return back soon, says a woman devotee

The women devotees appealed to the protestors and asked them to allow the group of women devotees to visit the temple. According to reports, one of the women said, "Please give us way, we will visit the temple and return back soon." They had already sought permission from Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to visit the temple today.

12:25 (IST)23 Dec 2018
Sabarimala protests LIVE updates: Naxal minded people are instigating women, says Subramanian Swamy

Reacting to the women devotees' attempt to trek to the temple, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy questioned if they are genuine devotees and said that the Naxal-minded people are instigating them.

12:03 (IST)23 Dec 2018
Sabarimala protests LIVE updates: Police not providing protection to trek to temple, alleges Selvi

Stating that the group was assured police protection, Selvi, a group member, has alleged that the police are not providing protection to the women's group to trek to the temple. She said that the women are at Pamba base camp since 3.30 am.

11:40 (IST)23 Dec 2018
Sabarimala protests LIVE updates: Police detain devotees at Pamba base camp

Police have detained several Lord Ayyappa devotees protesting against the entry of women devotees to Sabarimala temple at Pamba base camp as the state administration extended Section 144 till December 27.

11:23 (IST)23 Dec 2018
Devotees hold protest at Pamba base camp

Devotees protest before a group of women, who are gathered at Pampa base camp to trek to SabarimalaTemple. Defying prohibitory orders invoked in place, hundreds of devotees have gathered at Pamba chanting Ayyappa hymns aloud.

11:16 (IST)23 Dec 2018
Women group reach Pamba base camp braving protests

The women group reached Pamba base camp at 3.30 am through the Idukki-Kambamedu route in Kerala-Tamil Nadu border. Reports say the group had to face protests at various places on their way but they managed to reach Pamba.

Kerala had witnessed huge protests by Lord Ayyappa devotees opposing the entry of girls and women in the 10-50 age group into the Sabarimala Temple since the Kerala government decided to implement the September 28 verdict of the Supreme Court permitting women of all age groups there. At least 10 women have so far made unsuccessful attempts to trek the holy hills. Earlier this week, four transgenders, who were earlier stopped from proceeding towards the Lord Ayyappa temple citing security reasons, offered prayers at the hill shrine under heavy police security.
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