BY Jose Devasia
NILAKKAL, India (Reuters) – Tensions rose at an Indian hill temple on Tuesday before an expected face-off between women of menstrual age who can enter for the first time in centuries and conservative Hindu groups who want to stop them.
The Sabarimala hill temple in the southern state of Kerala has been the site of widespread protests since late September, when the Supreme Court ruled that a ban on women between the ages of 10 to 50 entering the temple infringed on rights to equality of worship.
Final talks between the state and temple priests broke down after the secular government said it would defend the rights of women to enter the site. Their first chance since the ban was lifted will come at 5 p.m. local time (1130 GMT) on Wednesday.