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Third Woman Enters Indian Hindu Temple; Protests Continue

A police officer wields his stick against the members of Kerala Students Union, the student wing of India's main opposition Congress party, outside a police station during a protest in Kochi, India, Jan. 3, 2019.

A third woman has entered a Hindu temple in southern India, in defiance of an ancient ban prohibiting women of menstruating age from entering the place of worship.

“She entered the temple yesterday night,” Balram Kumar Upadhyay, a police official in the state of Kerala told the French news agency (AFP). “We were aware and watched the situation.”

Local media reported that police had released CCTV footage of the 46-year-old Sri Lankan woman entering the temple carrying her offerings.

Protests erupted Wednesday after two women, accompanied by local police, entered the Sabarimala temple.

Police have arrested more than 750 people who have participated in the demonstrations.

Women between the ages of 10 to 50 have been banned for centuries from the temple.

A Supreme Court ruling in September, however, lifted the ban, angering Hindu devotees.

The high court will hear challenges to its ruling later this month.

Hinduism regards women of childbearing age as unclean and does not allow them to take part in religious rituals.