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UK warning on travel to Kerala after temple unrest

This article is more than 12 months old

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, INDIA Britain on Saturday issued a warning to tourists visiting the southern Indian state of Kerala after recent violence over the admission of women to one of Hinduism's holiest temples.

London advised UK nationals to "monitor media reports closely, remain vigilant and avoid large public gatherings".

The Sabarimala temple has been at the centre of a showdown between traditionalists and the authorities since September, when India's top court overturned a ban on women of menstruating age - those aged 10 to 50 - setting foot inside.

Earlier this week, two women sneaked inside and become the first to worship there.

That sparked days of clashes involving Hindu devotees, riot police and activists from Kerala's Communist Party state government, which supports the entry of women.

One man died and almost 300 people have been injured, including more than 100 police officers and 10 journalists, police said.

More than 3,000 protesters have been arrested.

Police said on Saturday a homemade bomb was hurled at the home of a right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party politician and an office of the hardline Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh group was set ablaze. Both oppose the court's order.

No injuries were reported.

The incidents came hours after unknown attackers bombed the house of a politician linked to the state's ruling party.- AFP

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