First women to enter India temple in centuries now in hiding as protests rage

The two women who broke with centuries of conservative taboo Wednesday to enter a temple in the southern Indian state of Kerala are now in hiding, as violent protests left at least one person dead.

The pair, aged 42 and 44, became the first women to access the shrine after the country’s Supreme Court overturned a centuries-old ban on women aged 10 to 50 from entering the temple in September last year, ruling it to be discriminatory and arguing that women should be able to pray at the place of their choice.
A police spokesman told CNN Thursday that the women — identified only by their given names Bindu Ammini and Kankadurga — are currently in an undisclosed location along with some of their relatives. The spokesman added the women had previously attempted to enter the temple in December but were stopped by mobs of angry hardliners shouting and blocking their path.
Those same protesters came out in droves again Wednesday, forcing police to deploy tear gas and water cannon to separate demonstrators both for and against the ban.
Police said a protester belonging to India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who are seeking to uphold the gender ban, died Wednesday night after being hit in the head by a stone thrown by counter demonstrators. Four people, including a police officer, were injured.
The police have arrested two people and filed a complaint against them for murder and rioting.

About Delia Innoma

Delia Innoma is a prolific writer, promoter, artist manager with full professional proficiency in English, German and Igbo languages. She studied accounting and computer programming at the Institute of Management and Technology Enugu and Germany respectively. Delia is also a devoted mother of two and she founded the Diamond Celebrities Magazine. Her sense of responsibility and commitment to the Christian faith are essential forces driving her daily activities.

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