The 11-member team of Tamil Nadu-based progressive women's forum Manithi on Sunday returned from Pampa without visiting the Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple.
After ten-hour-long tension and violence the Pampa base camp was back to normal after the team returned. The Manithi team reached Pampa on Sunday about 3 a.m. following which devotees and members of the Sabarimala Karma Samithi launched protests. They protested on the road without allowing the team to proceed for the trek to the shrine.
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At 11 a.m. police started action to facilitate the team members to proceed to the shrine. Police forcefully arrested the protestors who laid on the road. Afterwards, the police helped the team to move forward only to be chased back by a violent mob. For almost an hour, high tension prevailed in Pampa as angry protestors gathered around the control room.
The Maniti team who took rescue in the police control room demanded the cops to give protection or give in writing that protection cannot be given. Police refused for both following which the members decided to return to their home state.
They were taken from Pampa in heavy police protection by 12 noon. Pampa special officer Karthikeyan Gokulachandran said the team returned as per their wish. Police was ready to give protection, he said.
The Maniti team members said they returned as per the request of the police. They said they would return to visit the shrine again.
Wayanad-based tribal activist K Ammini who was heading to Pampa stopped her journey at Erumely.
Members of the BJP and Sabarimala Karma Samithi staged protests in different parts of the state in protest against Maniti team's visit. A protest was also held near the Cliff House, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's official residence in Thiruvananthapuram.