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Home / World / Tourists in India warned against avoiding crowds as tensions over the temple ban increase world news

Tourists in India warned against avoiding crowds as tensions over the temple ban increase world news



Britain has invited tourists visiting the southern Indian state of Kerala to be vigilant and, following sporadic violence in recent days, avoid large crowds of women entering one of the holiest temples of Hinduism.

In updated travel advisories, the Foreign Office in Kerala, which is particularly popular with tourists at this time of year, recommends British citizens "watch closely the media reports, keep vigilant and avoid large public gatherings."

The Sabarimala Temple has been at the center of a longstanding showdown between traditionalists and the authorities since September, when India's Supreme Court overturned a ban on women of menstruation age considered to be pedestrians aged 10 to 50 years.

After several weeks of hardliners preventing women from reaching the hilltop temple, sometimes violent, earlier this week, two women managed to sneak in before dawn and be the first to be there the milestone decision was worshiped.

A third Sri Lankan woman said that she entered the temple on Thursday night, but this was denied by the temple authorities, who performed a cleansing ritual after the other two women entered the shrine.

Women's Entry Has Caused Days Kerala clashed with angry Hindu devotees, tear-gas riot police and water cannons, and activists from the Kerala state government that supports women's entry.

One man died and nearly 300 people were injured, including more than 100 police officers and 10 journalists. More than 3,000 demonstrators were either arrested or detained. Police said Saturday that unidentified assailants hurled a homemade bomb into the home of a right-wing politician, Bharatiya Janata (BJP), and set fire to the office's hardline group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

Both refuse to order the court to let women into the temple. No injuries were reported during the blast or fire, police said.

The new attacks came hours after unknown assailants bombed the house of a politician in contact with the ruling Communist Party of the state, which has committed to implementing the court order. [19659002] Narendra Modi, the prime minister, has joined the call of his Hindu nationalist BJP and the RSS to protest against women's entry.

Modi's party accuses the state government of supporting "anti-religious" groups to violate Hindu traditions. Hindu groups believe women in the menstrual age should not enter the temple because they are "unclean" and the temple deity Ayyappa has been celibate.

Women are expelled from a handful of Hindu temples in India, including Sabarimala, where this was considered A taboo was a taboo for centuries before the 1991 ban was put into effect by the Kerala Supreme Court. The Supreme Court reversed the verdict in September.


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