NEW DELHI (Reuters) – A 46-year-old woman has entered the Sabarimala temple in south India, becoming the third woman this week to breach an ancient ban on females of menstruating age from going inside, according to the office of the chief minister of Kerala state. It was not immediately clear how the woman, a Sri Lankan national, got into the temple. When the first two women to breach the ban entered the temple in the early hours of Wednesday, they arrived in an ambulance with a plainclothes police escort and went in through a side gate without any devotees noticing.Conservative Hindu groups paralyzed Kerala on Thursday, shutting businesses and halting transport with a protest strike against the left-wing Kerala state government, which has supported the right of women to enter the temple. The protests against Kerala’s communist coalition, led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, were backed by both of the main national parties – Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu-nationalist Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Congress party.The Sabarimala temple, which pays homage to the celibate God Ayyappan, is one of a few in India that bar entry to women and girls between the ages of 10 and 50… Read full this story
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