Sabarimala temple row: Section 144 imposed in 4 places of Kerala
Pathanamthitta (Kerala) [India], Oct 18 (ANI): Amid intensifying protest in the region against the entry of women in the menstrual age group in the Sabarimala temple, the state administration on Wednesday imposed Section 144 in four places-- Sannidhanam, Pamba, Nilakkal, and Elavungal. Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) prohibits an assembly of more than four people in an area. According to sources, the Ministry of Home Affairs also took cognisance of the incidents of violence witnessed in Kerala today. Meanwhile, women above 50 years of age were seen entering the Lord Ayyappa temple this evening. Women between 10 to 50 years of age did not arrive here today due to security concerns. Earlier in the day, the protesters were lathi-charged as they gathered at the Nilakkal base camp of Pathanamthitta district. Stones were also pelted. The shrine of Lord Ayyappa, located on the mountain range of the Western Ghats, opened for the first time today after the Supreme Court verdict allowed women of all ages to enter the temple. The temple will close on October 22. Protesters also blocked and attacked journalist covering the incident. Scores of protesters, including women, have been up in arms since the verdict was pronounced. Traditionally, women of menstruating age were barred from entering the temple. In protest against the verdict, the devotees stopped vehicles and prevented women belonging to the 'prohibited age' group from moving towards the holy hill.