India’s top court to re-examine Hindu temple ruling

NEW DELHI (AP) — India’s top court has agreed to re-examine a ruling that lifted a ban on women of menstruating age from entering a Hindu temple after near-constant protests backed by both India’s ruling party and the main opposition party.

The Press Trust of India reports that the Supreme Court decided Tuesday to review 49 petitions in open court on Jan. 22.

The centuries-old Sabarimala temple is one of the world’s largest Hindu pilgrimage sites, drawing up to 50 million devotees each year.

Since the court ruled against the ban on Sept. 28, busloads of female Hindus have traveled through the dense jungle of the Periyar Tiger Reserve in Kerala, India’s southernmost state, to enter the hilltop temple. But Hindu priests and throngs of conservative protesters have blocked them from entering.

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