Kochi: Two women journalists covering the Sabarimala issue were attacked by anti-women protesters on Thursday.

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

Sabarimala will be opening its gates to women of all ages today at 5 pm, following the landmark verdict of Supreme Court. Earlier, women of menstrual age were not allowed inside the shrine because its residing deity Ayyappa is celibate.

The Republic said that a mob of 100 attacked its South India bureau chief Pooja Prasanna and smashed the car. Luckily, the journalist is safe now.

The News Minute reported that reporter Saritha S Balan was heckled by a mob of 20 men, allegedly belonging to Karma Samithi, when she was travelling by a state transport bus that was carrying devotees to Sabarimala.

"She was kicked from behind as angry devotees took her photograph, called her derogatory names and chanted slogans in the name of Ayyappa. A woman also tried to throw a water bottle at Saritha," the news organisation reported.

She was also kicked on her spine.

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.

Meanwhile, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, "We will ensure security to all. Nobody will be allowed to take the law into their hands. My government will not allow any violence in the name of Sabarimala.”