The National Commission for Women has urged the Kerala police to ensure the security of women who wish to enter the Sabarimala temple and demanded stringent action against those taking the law into their hands.
The Commission's response came after a section of protesters, who are opposing the decision to allow entry of women of all ages into the shrine, indulged in violence near the gateway on the foothills leading to the hill shrine.
The Commission, in a letter, asked the police to provide security to women who wish to enter the temple.
It also sought stringent action against those taking the law into their hands and asked DGP Kerala Loknath Behera to submit a detailed action report in the matter to the Commission.
Trouble broke out as the agitators, who are opposing the decision of Kerala government to implement the apex court order lifting a ban on entry of women of menstrual age into the temple, continued to block vehicles of pilgrims and pelted stones, disregarding repeated requests by police to desist from such acts.
As police began a crackdown, the protesters fought pitched battles with them. Later the police used lathi-charge to disperse the protesters, several of whom ran helter-skelter and entered the nearby forest area.
A few media personnel present on the round were attacked and crew of various TV news channels were asked to leave the place. They could return the spot after more policemen were deployed in the area.