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Sabarimala row: Women journalists blocked, vehicles attacked

The crowd, which virtually took control of the Nilakkal area, also hurled stones at vehicles, including the KSRTC buses on way to Pamba. Stones were also pelted at police vehicles.

india Updated: Oct 17, 2018 16:56 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Nilakkal
sabarimala,sabarimala temple case,woman devotee turned away
An elderly woman on her way to Sabarimala Temple as police personnel stand on guard, in Pathanamthitta on Wednesday. Sabarimala Temple is open to women of all age groups for the first time since Supreme Court announced its verdict. (PTI)

The protests against the Supreme Court order allowing women of all ages into Sabrimala shrine turned violent on Wednesday with agitators attacking women journalists in Nilakkal on Wednesday.

The crowd, which virtually took control of the Nilakkal area, also hurled stones at vehicles, including the KSRTC buses on way to Pamba. Stones were also pelted at police vehicles.

Read more: Sabarimala row live updates

The police resorted to lathicharge in which many journalists were injured.

The women reporters of two national TV channels on their way to Pamba for news coverage were blocked by a violent crowd that was seen banging their cars while demanding they go back.

The journalists were forced to get out of the vehicles by the crowd of men when police intervened and escorted them to safety.

In another incident, a woman reporter of an English online media organisation was asked to get down from a state-owned KSRTC bus in Nilakkal, one of the entry points to the hill shrine of Lord Ayyappa which opened for the first time Wednesday after the apex court order.

The number of protesters kept swelling by the hour, outnumbering the police personnel posted here.

Earlier, two women devotees were forced to go back as protesters blocked their way.

Earlier in the day, tents of devotees in Nilakkal were demolished as police dispersed protesters and warned them against preventing women from entering the shrine.

Protesters threatened suicides and self-immolation and blocked women of reproductive age from visiting the 800-year-old shrine since its presiding deity, Lord Ayyappa, is considered to be celibate. All small towns leading to Sabarimala, Erumeli, Vadessrikara, in Pathanamthitta remained tense as police said they would not let anyone to block the movement of the people.

First Published: Oct 17, 2018 15:48 IST