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Sabarimala Temple Row: Woman journalist returns after attack by protesters

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Srishty Choudhury | Updated on: 18 Oct 2018, 12:10:47 PM
Sabarimala Temple Row: Woman journalist begins climbing hill amid protests (File photo: PTI)

New Delhi:

Even as the gates of the Sabarimala Temple opened on Wednesday evening amid violent protests over the Supreme Court decision to lift the centuries-old ban on the entry of women of menstrual age, a Delhi-based New York Times journalist began trekking to the hill shrine. However, she and her cameraman, a foreign national, had to return from the halfway point after protesters blocked their way and threw stones at them.

Suhasini Raj said that she will not be able to go further as she doesn’t want any bloodshed, the Hindustan Times reported. Raj was verbally abused by pilgrims around her. Protesters blocked her path by lying down on the ground, the newspaper reported. They also asked the police to shoot them.

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As she was climbing up, she kept saying that she did not come to pray but to do her work. "It was a massive protest by the devotees. The protesters were sitting on the pathway shouting slogans, according to an NDTV report.

On Wednesday, hordes of activists of Hindu fringe groups took to the streets and besieged the road leading to the temple. The protesters heckled women journalists and activists, smashed their vehicles and young female devotees of Lord Ayyappa were turned back as police deployed there failed to maintain the law and order.

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The violent protests also stalled the entry of the women whose ban was lifted by the apex court as by available indications none from this age group made it to the famed shrine. Meanwhile, prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC were put in place in Pamba and Nilakkal by Pathanamthitta district authorities following the following the violence and a strike called by right-wing outfits on Thursday.

We'll give protection to everybody going up. It's our job,to give protection to all pilgrims.We'll put more manpower&secure all routes.She (journalist Suhasini Raj reportedly working with New York Times) wasn't forced to come back, she came back: IGP Thiruvananthapuram range

Journalist Suhasini Raj reportedly working with New York Times, on her way to the temple, returned midway after being stopped by protesters today.

This tradition had been there for so long & was being followed. Those who filed petitions against it are not the one who will go to temple. A large section of women follow this practice. Their sentiments were not considered: RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat

Devotees climb the sacred Pathinettam Padi to enter the Sabarimala Temple to offer prayers.

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First Published : 18 Oct 2018, 09:01:54 AM