The two Indians who caused the rage of Hindu traditionalists and after the lifting of a ban became the first women of childbearing age to enter a large temple, sought a police guard on Thursday and said their lives were under threat.
At 40 and 39 years old, Bindu Ammini and Kanaka Durga assembled at the Ayyappa Divinity Temple in Sabarimala, Kerala State, in southern India on 2 January, without being known to traditionalists. . For months they have turned the sanctuary into a fortress to prevent it from being open to all women ordered by the court.
In a hearing before the Supreme Court on Thursday, the lawyer of the two women who appeared this week after hiding a dozen days said they were seeking state protection because of physical risk.
One of them, Kanaka Durga, was attacked by her mother-in-law on Tuesday when she returned to her family and had to be treated in the hospital for her injuries.
The Sabarimala temple has become the new front line for women's rights in India.
This sanctuary, one of the holiest of Hinduism, has been the subject of twenty years of legal battles around the ban for all women of this age to have their periods between 10 and 50 years. Regulated women are often considered impure in this conservative and patriarchal society.
In September 2018, the Indian Supreme Court declared this measure discriminatory. The court allowed all women to go to this hill temple, which requires a few hours of walking.
The Supreme Court will appeal within a few days against its decision to grant Sabarimala access to women regardless of their age.