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India's Supreme Court to review landmark ruling allowing women to enter a Hindu temple

INDIA’s Supreme Court agreed today to review its landmark judgement allowing women to enter a Hindu temple.

Last year, a panel of five judges ruled that keeping women of menstruating age out of the Sabarimala shrine in the southern state of Kerala was discriminatory.

The ruling was praised by women’s rights groups but led to massive protests across the state.

Women who attempted to enter the temple were either sent back or assaulted by mobs blocking their way.

Some vehicles would ride through those heading to the temple to check if anyone was “of menstruating age.”

Today, the five-judge bench responded to dozens of petitions challenging the court’s judgement and said the matter would be heard by a larger panel.

Kerala police have appealed for calm and said there would be action “against those who take the law into their own hands.”

Officials are also searching social media accounts and plan to arrest anyone fanning religious tensions.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said: “The government is ready to accept the verdict of the Supreme Court whatever it may be.”

He added that the government had “not taken any decision” on the protection of women approaching the temple for religious ritual.

Many temples in India exclude women during their periods and many women voluntarily stay away, but Sabarimala is one of the few with a blanket ban on all women between the ages of 10 and 50.

Women can still legally enter the temple as the initial judgement has not been put on hold.

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