7 August 2020

2,500 police deployed as temple opens doors women

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Thousands of police have been deployed in the southern Indian state of Kerala as a centuries-old temple at the center of an ongoing, and sometimes violent, gender dispute prepares to open its doors for the annual pilgrimage season. reports citing CNN that for centuries, women aged 10 to 50 were not allowed to enter the Sabarimala Temple. But in September last year, the country's Supreme Court overturned the ban, and in January, women entered the temple for the first time, defying opposition from religious conservatives.

But that decision is now in question, after the Supreme Court agreed Thursday to review its landmark ruling.
It's unclear whether women will be allowed to enter the temple when it opens its doors Saturday, although the Supreme Court said Thursday that its September 2018 decision -- that the ban on women entering was discriminatory -- remained in force.
Around 2,500 police were deployed Saturday -- and more may be deployed if required, Lokanath Behera, the Director General of Police in Kerala, told CNN Friday.
During the last pilgrimage season in January, violent protests erupted across Kerala state, leaving at least one person dead and prompting police to deploy tear gas and a water cannon. Women who tried to enter the shrine were told to go back and, in some cases, assaulted.

2019.11.16 / 21:54
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