Fresh clashes in deadly India temple dispute

Clashes erupted between Hindu hardliners and police in the southern state of Kerala for a second day Thursday, after two…

Clashes erupted between Hindu hardliners and police in the southern state of Kerala for a second day Thursday, after two women defied traditionalists to enter one of India’s holiest temples.

Violence across Kerala on Wednesday left one person dead and 15 injured after news spread that the two women, escorted by police and dressed in black, had sneaked into the Sabarimala temple and prayed before dawn.

This was the first time that women of menstruating age — deemed as those aged between 10 and 50 — had set foot in the gold-plated temple, located on a hilltop in a tiger reserve, since India’s Supreme Court overturned a ban in September.

Thousands of Hindu devotees, many of them female, had previously succeeded in preventing women from accessing the site in the weeks after the ruling, with some hardliners throwing stones at police and assaulting female journalists.

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