Sabarimala age mix-up: 52-year-old woman stopped as protests mounttext_fields
Sabarimala: Nearly 200 frenzied devotees tried to prevent a 52-year-old woman from entering the Lord Ayyappa temple on Tuesday, prompting police to register cases against them.
Lalitha Ravi showed her Aadhaar card to prove she is not in the 10-50 age group. The Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorisation of Entry) Rules of 1965 had banned the entry of women in that age group into the temple, which was recently overturned b the Supreme Court.
The woman was escorted into the shrine by the police later.
The hill temple witnessed an unprecedented flow of devotees when it opened for the two-day special puja on Monday evening.
Hailing from Thrissur, Lalitha came to the hill temple with 19 relatives, including women, for her grandson’s ‘chorunnu’ (rice giving ceremony).
Clapping and chanting “Ayyappa saranam”, a huge crowd of devotees surrounded Lalitha.
Police said a case has been registered against 200 "identifiable" persons in connection with the incident, based on her complaint.
A cameraman of a Malayalam television channel was attacked, allegedly by devotees while taking visuals of the protest.
The Ayyappa temple opened on Monday for the second time in three weeks for a two-day special puja amid unprecedented security. Hundreds of police personnel, including armed commandos, are keeping a tight vigil at the temple and nearby areas.