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2 women reach Sabarimala hilltop but return due to protests

Two women below 50 who started trekking uphill to the Sabarimala temple this morning returned to the base camp Pamba after they were blocked by protesters 1 km away from the hilltop shrine in Kerala. The two women were escorted by a police team. They had asked for more personnel to be sent from the base camp Pamba as the protesters surrounded them.

One of the two women, Bindu, had said they will not turn back even if they are attacked. Some people gathered outside her house in Kozhikode and shouted slogans, local news channels reported. Some protesters who tried to stop the two women this morning when they started climbing from the base camp Pamba were quickly removed by the police, sources said.

On Sunday, a group of 11 women aborted their attempt to go to the hilltop shrine of Lord Ayyappa after protesters clashed with the police. The women were evicted from the base camp, 5 km from the temple, by the Kerala police following a huge face-off with protesters. The police have denied the accusation. The group was expected to be the first of several planning to attempt the trek in December — three months after a Supreme Court order that opened the temple doors to women of all ages.

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