THIRUVANANTHAPURAM AFP Jan4, 2019 - Police in southern India said Friday that a third woman has entered a flashpoint temple, stoking tensions after two days of clashes involving Hindu hardliners and police. The Sabarimala temple in Kerala state has been at the centre of a prolonged showdown since India’s top court overturned in September a ban on women aged 10 to 50 setting foot inside.
Before dawn on Wednesday two women in their 40s, escorted by police, wrong-footed devotees to become the first to access the shrine since the landmark verdict, sneaking in via a side entrance. They remained under police protection on Friday.
The third to enter the temple, on Thursday night, was a Sri Lankan woman, police said. “She entered the temple yesterday night. She is 47 years old and came as a devotee. We were aware and watched the situation,” Balram Kumar Upadhyay, a police official, told AFP.