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Two Indian women enter Sabarimala temple in Kerala amid protests

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Centuries-old ban on the entry of menstruating women breached at Kerala’s Sabarimala temple.

The temple was briefly shut down for a ‘Puyalluurification ritual’ following the announcement of the women entering [File: Sivaram V/Reuters]

Source :Aljazeera 

New Delhi, India – A centuries-old ban has been breached by two women who entered an ancient Hindu temple in the southern Indian state of Kerala despite strong protests by right-wing conservative groups.

“Today, two women entered Sabarimala Temple. We had issued standing orders to police to provide all possible protection to any woman who wants to enter the temple,” Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters in Kerala’s capital city, Trivandrum, on Wednesday.

A video posted online by the Indian news agency, ANI, showed the two women, Bindu and Kanaka Duraga, hurriedly walking towards the shrine wearing black clothes with their heads covered.

The temple was briefly shut down for a “purification ritual” by the priests following the announcement of the women entering the temple.

The Sabarimala shrine was historically closed to women of menstruating age until the country’s Supreme Court overturned the ban in September.

Sabarimala Ayyappa temple’s website explains that since Lord Ayyappa was “Nithya Brahmachari” – or celibate – women in the 10-50 age group are not allowed to enter.

Since the top court’s verdict, Hindu hardliners, opposed to the decision, have attacked female pilgrims, threatened journalists and pelted stones at police.

On Tuesday, a 620-km human wall was formed by women in Kerala “in support of gender equality” from Kasargod in the north to the capital, Trivandrum

Two Indian women enter Sabarimala temple in Kerala amid protests

Centuries-old ban on the entry of menstruating women breached at Kerala’s Sabarimala temple.

The temple was briefly shut down for a 'purification ritual' following the announcement of the women entering [File: Sivaram V/Reuters]
The temple was briefly shut down for a ‘purification ritual’ following the announcement of the women entering [File: Sivaram V/Reuters]

New Delhi, India – A centuries-old ban has been breached by two women who entered an ancient Hindu temple in the southern Indian state of Kerala despite strong protests by right-wing conservative groups.

“Today, two women entered Sabarimala Temple. We had issued standing orders to police to provide all possible protection to any woman who wants to enter the temple,” Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters in Kerala’s capital city, Trivandrum, on Wednesday.

A video posted online by the Indian news agency, ANI, showed the two women, Bindu and Kanaka Duraga, hurriedly walking towards the shrine wearing black clothes with their heads covered.

The temple was briefly shut down for a “purification ritual” by the priests following the announcement of the women entering the temple.

The Sabarimala shrine was historically closed to women of menstruating age until the country’s Supreme Court overturned the ban in September.

READ MORE

Sabarimala temple: A rallying point for the Hindu far right?

Sabarimala Ayyappa temple’s website explains that since Lord Ayyappa was “Nithya Brahmachari” – or celibate – women in the 10-50 age group are not allowed to enter.

Since the top court’s verdict, Hindu hardliners, opposed to the decision, have attacked female pilgrims, threatened journalists and pelted stones at police.

On Tuesday, a 620-km human wall was formed by women in Kerala “in support of gender equality” from Kasargod in the north to the capital, Trivandrum.

Two women devotees Bindu and Kanakdurga entered & offered prayers at Kerala’s at 3.45am today

Manithi Selvi, who attempted to enter the temple last month but had to back down after being hounded by violent protesters, hailed the duo’s entry as a “brave feat”.

“This is a massive victory for the women of India. These two women have protected India’s constitutional rights and smashed the walls of patriarchy. But this is only the first step, we need to guard our rights in the family, in the home, in the workplace,” Selvi told Al Jazeera.

“Those who have tried to purify the temple today after the women entered are standing against the constitution of this country. We have to reject these ideas,” she added.

Bindu, one of the women who entered the temple on Wednesday, was threatened by right-wing protesters earlier and her house was vandalised, said Selvi.

Following their entry, conservative Hindu groups said they will continue to oppose women entering the temple.

“The temple has now been closed for cleaning ritual following this incident where the women forcefully entered the temple. We will definitely go back to the top court to fight this battle out. It’s not over yet and we will win,” Rahul Easwar, president of the Ayyappa Dharma Sena (Ayyappa Religious Army), that claims to protect the interests of the Lord Ayyappa told Al Jazeera.

KK Shailaja, minister for social justice in Kerala, said her government stands for “gender equality”. She had also participated in the “women’s human wall” on Tuesday.

“We are upholding the top court orders and our government here will continue to strongly back all women. We stand for gender equality. Those saying that women are impure should be ashamed of themselves. How can they say women are impure in front of God?” Shailaja told Al Jazeera.

“There is no logical reason to stop women from entering any temple,” she said.

The Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has backed the anti-women protesters despite the court orders, in what critics say is a move to fan Hindu religious sentiment to make inroads into the region.

Menstruation is rarely discussed openly in India and menstrual blood is considered impure by many communities. Across cities and towns, menstruating girls and women are not allowed to prepare food, enter a temple or touch an idol.

An estimated one million Hindu pilgrims travel to the Sabarimala temple in the southern state of Kerala annually.

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“Using a minor as a trap to gather evidence is a criminal offence” – Actor, Yomi Fabiyi

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Nollywood actor, Yomi Fabiyi has vehemently stated that just as molesting a minor is a criminal offense, so does it apply to using a minor as a trap to gather evidence for one’s claim.

This is coming after the actor defended Baba Ijesha and requested solid proof to show that he molested the 14-year-old girl as he was accused of.

Upon the release of the CCTV footage which has gone viral on the social media space, the actor has dragged both the alleged molester and people who used the minor as a medium to gather proof as defaulters of the law, who ought to face the wrath of the law accordingly.

Sharing the CCTV footage, he wrote:

“IT IS CRIMINAL TO MOLEST A MINOR or USE A MINOR AS A TRAP TO GATHER EVIDENCE.

It is disturbing and unfortunate viewing the images of the released CCTV footage of a minor been sexually abused by a senior colleague, Mr. Lanre Omiyinka a.k.a Baba Ijesha.

There is no excuse for this act. I condemn this act, it is embarrassing and disappointing.

I have carefully wait for reliable options before jumping to a conclusion as done in a civilized society, a stance a handful misconstrued as supporting the suspect, it is a shame a handful in Nigeria still engage in social media recklessness in the name of the social media age.

NOWHERE HAVE I SUPPORTED OR CONDONE SUCH, someone just places the idea and many without caution jumped on it. If you are not enlightened, SEEK KNOWLEDGE.

The only person free from arrest and prosecution is the young lady. Several red lines were crossed, IGNORANCE is never an excuse. The key question every honest person should be asking is, “if the girl was your child, can you make her go through such trauma again in the name of gathering evidence?

Where are the social services and domestic violence units in Lagos State? Shelve press release and sentiments, swing into action.

The law is sacrosanct and we all can agree a lot more needs to be done TO PROTECT CHILDREN IN NIGERIA. I am sad, we have failed many innocent children and it is time we rise to this challenge, THE WORLD IS WATCHING.

Every Nigerian who honestly feels for the poor girl should take to the street in a peaceful protest, demand arrest of all connected to this ugly image, it is a cause worth risking everything for, do it for humanity and every innocent child.

 

 

 

 

 

However, sentiment should never be an excuse to abuse the rights of every suspect or persons connected, that is the only way to achieve peace, fairness, justice, and development. Thanks to the Lagos Police Commissioner and officers for their meticulous investigation and efforts so far. A society patient to balance a story seldom gets misled or stands with lies. The media are doing a good job too. We want a safer Nigeria for every child.

Thank you

Yomi Fabiyi
Actor/Human Rights Ambassador”

 

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Watch the CCTV footage of Baba Ijesha molesting his 14-year-old victim

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The CCTV footage showing how actor, Baba Ijesha, molested his victim, has been released online.

Baba Ijesha has been in police custody after he was arrested for defiling the minor who is the foster daughter of comedienne, Princess.

Watch the CCTV footage as obtained by Punch below…

Watch the video below:

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Veteran actor, Bruno Iwuoha dies at 68

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Veteran Nollywood actor, Bruno Iwuoha, has died after losing a protracted battle with diabetes and blindness. He was aged 68.

He died at the National Hospital Abuja in the early of today Saturday, April 10.

The Abia-state born actor had been in coma for about three weeks before giving up. His body has been deposited at the hospital mortuary.

Film maker, Derek Zai has taken to their social media handle to mourn him. He wrote;

A good man, has gone home to be with his Father, daddy its so painful doing this, we love you but God loves you more”

Bruno Obinna Iwuoha acted in many films and also won several awards in his career.

He won the Best Supporting Actor award at the 3rd Africa Movie Academy Awards for his performance in the movie “Sins of the Flesh”.

Some of the other films where he featured are: World Apart, Magic Cap, Keeping Close, Another Bondage, Faces Of Love, Days Of Hatred,Two Bad Boys.

 

Veteran actor, Bruno Iwuoha dies at 68

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