Pamba (Kerala): An entry point near the Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala on Friday virtually turned into an area of confrontation.
A large number of devotees opposing the entry of women of the menstrual age group blocked two women — a reporter from Hyderabad and another said to be an activist from Kerala — at the Valiya Nadappandhal near Sabarimala Sannidhanam.
Two women began trekking to Sabarimala hill Friday amid strong protests by devotees opposing the entry of girls and women of menstrual age into the Lord Ayyappa temple.
Their attempt to reach the shrine came a day after a New Delhi-based woman reporter of a foreign media outlet made a failed bid to visit the temple.
Police led by IG S Sreejithhave have thrown a security ring around the women who had requested security to go to Sabarimala Sannidhanam.
There have been strong protests by devotees opposing the entry of girls and women of menstrual age into the Lord Ayyappa temple.
The woman reporter is in her late 20s while the details of the second woman, who was carrying Irumudikkettu (holy bundle), was not immediately known.
If they climbed the hills, they would be the first women from the menstruating age group to visit the Sabarimala temple of Lord Ayyappa after the Supreme Court order permitting women of all age groups to enter the shrine.
On Thursday, the New Delhi-based woman journalist was stopped midway by devotees opposing the entry of women of menstrual age into the hill shrine.
The journalist accompanied by her male colleague, a foreigner, descended the hills from Marakkoottam area in the face of mounting protests.
A case has been registered against devotees who allegedly prevented her trekking and forced her to climb down the hills.