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Beating the odds: Meet the first women under 50 to enter Sabarimala temple- Bindu And Kanakadurga

Jan 2 (AZINS) Two women devotees have caused a stir in the state of Kerala after they prayed at the Sabarimala Temple on the wee hours of Wednesday. Cloaked in black veils and shrouded in the early morning darkness, these two women of menstruating age group made history on Wednesday when they stepped into the Sabarimala temple of Lord Ayyappa, breaking centuries-old tradition-defying warning from certain sections.

These women have been the first ones to enter the temple since the Supreme Court's verdict. According to reports, Bindu and Kanakadurga’s entry inside the temple was facilitated by the police and the state government.

The women--Kanakadurga and Bindu--aged 44 and 42, stepped into the hallowed precincts guarded by police three months after the Supreme Court's historic judgement lifting the ban on entry of girls and women between 10 and 50 years of age into the shrine of Lord Ayyappa.

Bindu is a 42-year-old lawyer and is an assistant professor at a law school. She is a CPI(M) Dalit activist also. Bindu is married to a political activist and has an 11-year-old daughter.

Kanakadurga, a 44-year-old lady is a civil supplies employee. She is married to an engineer and has two children. She along with her family lives in Kerala. She belongs to the upper caste Nair community. According to her brother,  Kanakadurga was kept at a hideout in Kinnaur for one week.

According to reports by Malayala Manorama, before travelling to Sabarimala on Tuesday night, the women were at a secret location under the protection of the policewomen until arrangements were made by the state government for the women to travel to the shrine.

On December 24 last year, the two women had unsuccessfully tried to offer prayers at the shrine but they had to return back from within 500 metres of temple due to protests. Police had also provided security to the homes of the two women fearing possible protests.

"Who took them to the temple just after the women's wall? They were absconding for many days after their first attempt to trek the hill on December 24. It's clear that the women were under police protection. Police acted on behalf of the chief minister's direction. This was a result of the obstinate attitude of the chief minister," Chennithala told reporters here.

Despite the Supreme Court's historic ruling on September 28 last year, permitting women in the 10-50 age group, no children or young women in the 'barred' group were able to offer prayers at the shrine following frenzied protests by devotees and right-wing outfits. However, dozens of women have tried to enter the shrine to offer prayers but were unsuccessful due to protests by devotees.