Heavy police as flashpoint Indian shrine reopens
NEW DELHI, Nov 5, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – Authorities in southern India deployed
2,300 police on Monday to prevent a repeat of violent clashes last month
around one of Hindu’s holiest shrines.
The violence erupted in mid-October when Hindu hardliners blocked women
from entering the Sabarimala temple in the southern state of Kerala.
This was despite an order from India’s highest court that females of all
ages could enter the site, and not just those below 10 and over 50 years old
Protesters, including women and children, had massed at the bottom of a
hill leading to the shrine, threatening and manhandling a handful of women
who attempted to reach the site.
Some 2,000 people were detained and the temple was closed after a few
days, as scheduled, but reopened on Monday afternoon until Tuesday evening.
“We have made necessary arrangements for smooth visit of all devotees to
the temple. At least 2,300 policemen including 100 female officers have been
deployed in the region,” Pramod Kumar, Kerala police spokesman, told AFP.
This time no women attempted to make it to the temple, media reports
Hindu traditionalists have been emboldened in India since Prime Minister
Narendra Modi’s nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in
At the same time the Supreme Court has issued a number of liberal
rulings in recent months including lifting bans on gay sex and on adultery.