Woman Who Entered Sabarimala Hit By Mother-In-Law

KERALA

One of the two women who walked into Kerala’s Sabarimala earlier this month and became the first to defy the temple’s ban on women of menstrual age – or between 10 and 50 – is in hospital after being attacked allegedly by her mother-in-law, say sources.
Kanaka Durga, 39, had returned home this morning after nearly two weeks in hiding because of threats by right-wing protesters. Sources say she was hit on her head by her mother-in-law. She is reportedly stable and has been referred for further tests in the hospital.

Kanaka Durga, along with 40-year-old Bindu Ammini, made history by becoming the first women below 50 in decades to enter the hilltop shrine. For the past 13 days, they had been staying in an undisclosed location on the outskirts of Kochi.

The temple has been the site of tension since the Supreme Court ruled on September 28 to end the age restriction on women. The court order has not been accepted by the devotees and protesters who believe women should not be allowed near the shrine’s deity, Lord Ayyappa.

Since the court order, all attempts by women to visit the shrine were blocked by thousands of devotees – until the two women entered the shrine before dawn on January 2, escorted by policemen.