Hundreds protested in Kerala state on Thursday, January 3, after two women successfully entered the Sabarimala temple complex on Wednesday, January 2. Notably, some 400 people marched in Kochi to a major intersection to end their demonstration in a sit-in protest. Business and transportation disruptions were reported across the state. Most demonstrations across Kerala were peaceful on Thursday, according to authorities.
Further demonstrations in Kerala state, including at Sabarimala, Thiruvananthapuram, and Kochi, are possible in the coming days and weeks. Clashes between different political movements and their supporters, as well as with security forces, cannot be ruled out.
On September 28, the Indian Supreme Court overturned a ban on women between the ages of 10 and 50 entering the Sabarimala temple, a Hindu shrine to the god Ayyappan. Since then, ongoing demonstrations have been held across Kerala state to protest the decision and prevent women from entering the temple complex. Protests at the temple complex itself have been banned, though demonstrations in other locations, including the town of Sabarimala, have continued. One person was killed in related clashes on January 2 in a southern district of the state.
Individuals in Kerala state are advised to monitor updates to the situation, avoid all public demonstrations due to the risk of violence, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, and anticipate transportation disruptions and a heightened security presence in the event of protests.
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