Incensed over Kerala's Left Front government's decision not to file a review plea against the Supreme Court's September 28 landmark order, protesters pelted police with stones and the latter hit right back with vengeance wielding batons with telling effect, leaving many fallen and writhing in pain on the road. Female journalists have also been attacked.
The fundamentalist Hindu Shiv Sena party, a staunch ally of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party-led federal government, backs the campaigners.
Kerala's state government said it would enforce the court ruling, deploying 500 extra police to ensure free access to the remote complex reached by an uphill trek that takes several hours.
Several temples across India have banned women, saying the policy is meant to preserve the purity of their shrines. Udit Raj, a BJP MP, said: "This is a first in the world: women saying "make me a slave, treat me unequally; we're inferior to men".
Nilakkal: A young woman who had tried to enter the holy shrine of Sabarimala was blocked by protestors.
The protesting group of devotees had been staging a sit-in chanting Ayyappa mantra in the shelter in protest against the Supreme Court order permitting women of all age groups to enter the shrine.
Television video showed the protesters turning violent and attacking the cars and vans of some female reporters and TV crew members some distance from the temple.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, V Nandakumar, Chief Communications Officer at Lulu Group, said: "We have a strict and zero tolerance policy with regard to our staff misusing social media to spread malicious or derogatory comments which might hurt religious sentiments". They alleged the police did not offer protection and escort them to the shrine.
One 45-year old woman identified as Madhavi who wanted to enter the temple abandoned her attempt after activists prevented her climbing the hill, the Press Trust of India reported.
A huge roar would go up if they found someone.
Women are permitted to enter most Hindu temples but female devotees are still barred from entry by some, despite intensifying campaigns by rights activists against the bans.
One of the protestors, a 51-year old woman even tried committing suicide, before being saved be fellow activists.
The protesters have proved that they will not allow the execution of the supreme court order.
They were outraged by the Sabarimala temple chief's statement that he would allow women to enter only after a machine was invented to detect if they were "pure" - meaning that they weren't menstruating. "Stern action will be taken against anyone who prevents devotees from going to Sabarimala", he warned while asserting that the government will go by what the Supreme Court says.