Violence rages over Indian flashpoint temple

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Violence rages over Indian flashpoint temple
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AFP / STR
Greater than 2,000 protesters have both been arrested or taken into preventive custody after a number of clashes between police and demonstrators

Twin arson and bomb assaults rocked southern India Saturday, persevering with a violent backlash that adopted the entry of two ladies right into a Hindu temple that forbids feminine devotees.

The Sabarimala temple in Kerala state has been on the centre of a chronic showdown between spiritual hardliners and authorities since September, when India’s prime court docket overturned a ban on ladies aged 10 to 50 setting foot inside.

Police mentioned unidentified attackers hurled a home made bomb on the house of a politician from the rightwing Bharatiya Janata Celebration (BJP) and set ablaze the workplace of its Hindu nationalist guardian group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

Each are against the court docket’s order to permit ladies contained in the temple.

No accidents had been reported, police mentioned.

The recent assaults got here hours after unknown attackers bombed the home of a politician linked to the state’s ruling Communist Celebration, which has vowed to implement the court docket order.

One individual has died and greater than 270 others have been injured since Wednesday, when 1000’s protested after two ladies devotees of their 40s prayed contained in the temple.

The 2 native ladies had change into the primary to entry the shrine for the reason that landmark verdict and months-long of siege by Hindu hardliners that pressured dozens of girls devotees to retreat from the gold-plated hilltop temple.

A 3rd lady from Sri Lanka mentioned she entered the temple on Thursday night time however this was disputed by the temple authorities, who carried out a “purification” ritual after the 2 different ladies made their method into the shrine.

Greater than 3,000 protesters have both been arrested or taken into preventive custody after a number of clashes between police and demonstrators.

Kerala has a historical past of political violence between Hindu and the left-leaning events however tensions within the area have escalated for the reason that ladies entered the temple on January 2.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a member of the BJP, joined calls by his get together and the RSS for a statewide shutdown to protest the ladies’s entrance.

Modi’s get together accuses the state authorities of backing “anti-religious” teams to violate Hindu traditions.

Hindu teams consider that girls of menstruating age shouldn’t enter the temple as a result of they’re “impure” and the temple deity, Ayyappa, was celibate.

The Communist Celebration has accused the BJP and RSS of inciting violence within the state.

Girls are barred from a handful of Hindu temples in India, together with Sabarimala, the place it was thought-about a taboo for hundreds of years earlier than the ban was given authorized power by Kerala Excessive Courtroom in 1991.

However the Supreme Courtroom in a landmark judgement in September overturned the Kerala court docket’s ruling after six ladies attorneys petitioned it in 2006, difficult a ban they mentioned violated their elementary rights.



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