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Protestors block women going to flashpoint India temple

08:00 PM | 23 Dec, 2018
Protestors block women going to flashpoint India temple
NEW DELHI - Hundreds of devotees on Sunday blocked a path leading to one of the holiest Hindu temples in southern India to stop a group of women making a new attempt to reach the landmark.

Women activists have been trying to enter the Sabarimala temple complex in Kerala state since a September ruling by the Supreme Court overturned a longstanding ban on women of childbearing age from entering the shrine.

Tensions peaked again after 11 women reached the village of Pamba at the foot of the hill with the Sabarimala shrine at the top.

Pilgrims have to walk four hours from Pamba to reach the shrine but hundreds of protesters, including women, noisily blocked the path.

"The women are adamant they won't withdraw until they have seen the deity at the Sabarimala temple," said Selvi, a leader of the women, who only uses one name.

But after police failed to negotiate an end to the showdown -- and with the numbers of angry protesters swelling -- they escorted the women back to a base about 20 kilometers (13 miles) away.

Media reports said the women were heckled as they moved back.

"The police were not able to give us security (to go to the temple). Hopefully, now we are getting away from this place," one unnamed member of the women's group told reporters.

"Another group of women are trying to get to Pamba," she added.

Hundreds of thousands of Hindus -- men, young girls, and elderly women -- normally trek to the 1temple during the festival season.

But Sabarimala has become a major battleground between devotees and gender activists since the Supreme Court's revocation of the ban on women between 10 and 50, which has sparked waves of protests and shutdowns across Kerala.

The Supreme Court is to hear challenges to its decision to overturn the ban from January 22.

Many Hindu groups and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party opposed the court ruling.

They argue that the court has ignored their beliefs that the deity Ayyappa was celibate.

Devotees clashed with police in October around Sabarimala leading to the arrests of more than 2,000 people.

"If these women were actual devotees, they would not have been so blatant in their utter disregard for the age-old traditions and customs of Sabarimala," Sasikumar Varma from the region's Pandalam Royal family and closely associated with the temple, told AFP.

"They just want to create trouble for genuine devotees," he added.

Associated Press of Pakistan Corporation (APPC) - Pakistan's Premier News Agency


Currency Rates in Pakistan Today - PKR to US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 21 April 2024

Pakistani currency remains unchanged against US Dollar and other currencies on April 21, 2024. US dollar was being quoted at 277.5 for buying and 280.5 for selling.

Euro stands at 293 for buying and 296 for selling while British Pound hovers at 342.25 for buying, and 345.65 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED was at 75.20 and Saudi Riyal's new rate was at 73.30. 

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 21 April 2024

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 277.5 280.5
Euro EUR 293 296
UK Pound Sterling GBP 342.5 346
U.A.E Dirham AED 75.2 75.9
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.3 74.05
Australian Dollar AUD 181 182.8
Bahrain Dinar BHD 740.55 748.55
Canadian Dollar CAD 201 203
China Yuan CNY 38.47 38.87
Danish Krone DKK 39.78 40.18
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.53 35.88
Indian Rupee INR 3.33 3.44
Japanese Yen JPY 1.86 1.94
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 903.11 912.11
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.08 58.68
New Zealand Dollar NZD 164.22 166.22
Norwegians Krone NOK 25.61 25.91
Omani Riyal OMR 723.2 731.2
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.45 77.15
Singapore Dollar SGD 204.5 206.5
Swedish Korona SEK 25.31 25.61
Swiss Franc CHF 305.47 307.97
Thai Bhat THB 7.56 7.71


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