Pathanamthitta: The Sabarimala Protection Committee has called for a 12-hour state-wide strike on Thursday in Kerala.

The Sabarimala Temple in Kerala, which opened to devotees on Wednesday, witnessed incidents of violence and protests in Pamba, Nilakkal, Sannidhanam, and Elavungal.
Two women journalists covering the Sabarimala issue were attacked by anti-women protesters on Thursday.

The journalists belong from The News Minute and  Republic TV and were en route to the Sabarimala to cover the ongoing protests regarding the entry of women inside the shrine.

Around 1,000 police personnel have been deployed to manage the crowds and maintain law and order. There were also reports that members of the local tribal community were keeping a tight vigil to ensure that women were not allowed to enter.

Amid intensifying protest in the region against the entry of women in the menstrual age group in the Sabarimala temple, the state administration has imposed Section 144 in four places - Sannidhanam, Pamba, Nilakkal, and Elavungal- prohibiting the assembly of more than four people in an area.

Meanwhile, women above 50 years of age were seen entering the Lord Ayyappa temple on Wednesday evening. Women between 10 to 50 years of age did not arrive due to security concerns.

The shrine of Lord Ayyappa, located on the mountain range of the Western Ghats, opened for the first time after the Supreme Court verdict allowed women of all ages to enter the temple. The temple will close on October 22.

As a mark of protest against the verdict, the devotees stopped vehicles and prevented women belonging to the 'prohibited' age group from moving towards the holy hill.

With agency inputs