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Sabarimala protests: Five women turned back on manic Monday

The Ayyappa devotees and Sangh Parivar activists were on constant vigil from Sunday night following rumours that some women were attempting to trek Sabarimala disguised as men.

Published: 23rd October 2018 11:18 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd October 2018 11:18 AM   |  A+A-

Female devotees return to the base camp after their progress was blocked by protesters guarding the Ayyappa temple on Monday | Shaji Vettipuram

By Express News Service

KOCHI: Five women who attempted to trek Sabarimala on Monday, the final day of the five-day monthly pooja, had to abandon the move midway due to strong protest from the devotees. Kozhikode native Bindhu T V approached Erumeli police on Monday morning, demanding police protection to visit the hill shrine.
The police took her to Kanamala in a jeep and helped her board a KSRTC bus to Pampa. However, BJP workers blocked the bus midway and held a protest forcing the woman to return.

At around 2.30 pm four women from Andhra Pradesh were seen trekking the Neelimala stretch with out ‘irumudi’, the offering to Lord Ayyappa. On information a group of devotees stopped them and demanded to return. Following the protest, the women decided to return. They were escorted to the police guard room at Pampa Ganapathy temple. The women told police they were not aware of the restrictions and the protest.

The Ayyappa devotees and Sangh Parivar activists were on constant vigil from Sunday night following rumours that some women were attempting to trek Sabarimala disguised as men.BJP state secretary K Surendran, who was at Sabarimala had gone live on Facebook at 2.30 am on Monday urging all Ayyappa devotees to conduct prayer meets to save the age-old custom.However, no woman reached Sabarimala. The reporters of some news channels had left Sannidhanam on Sunday night following rumours that the protesters were planning to attack them.

On Monday, Sabarimala Karma Samithi general convener and VHP state president S J R Kumar mailed a letter to state police chief Loknath Behera urging him to ensure proper security to the temple and chief priest after the closure of the shrine, as there are apprehensions that miscreants may try to create trouble at Sannidhanam.



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