Sabarimala, Jan 16 (IECurrentAffairs) Amid protest from devotees, two young women from Kannur, who began trekking from Pamba to Sannidanam to have darshan of Lord Ayyappa here, were stopped at ‘Neelimala’ and sent back on Wednesday morning.
The two young women from Iranikkavu in Kannur, identified as Reshma Nishant and Shalima Sajesh, who reached Pamba along with six men, began the trekking at 0430 hrs.
When they reached near Neelimala Water Tank, a few Ayyappa devotees staged a protest on the trekking path and blocked their movement. Later, more Ayyappa devotees joined the protest leading to the arrest of five people from the spot by a police team led by Assistant Commissioner A Pradeep.
However, the two women, who were adamant to go ahead, demanded police protection to visit the temple in view of September 28 Supreme Court Order allowing the entry of women of all ages into Lord Ayyappa temple.
Though the police were not ready to escort them citing law and order following amid protest from devotees, the two women insisted to continue the trekking.
As the devotees continued chanting Ayyappa Mantras as a protest against the women entry, police brought the women to Pamba Police Station and made arrangements for their return.
However, the women said they were forcefully sent back by the police and announced hunger strike demanding police protection.
Meanwhile, Kerala Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran said those who sent back the women are not ‘humans’.
On January 2, two women devotees, below the age of 50, managed to enter the Lord Ayyappa temple here, in a first after the Apex Court verdict allowed entry of women of all ages into the hillock temple.
The women, identified as Ms Bindu from Koilandy and Ms Kanaga Durga from Angadippuram in Malappuram entered the temple accompanied by the police officials from Pamba to Sannidanam and ensured their darshan at 0330 hrs on that day.
Reacting to the CPI (M)-led Left Government’s stand on Sabarimala, Prime Minister Narendra Modi who visited Kerala on Tuesday, said the Left Government’s action was ‘shameful’.
Mr Modi also said Communists do not respect history, culture and the spirituality of the country.
Denouncing the Government’s attitude towards Ayyappa devotees, the Prime Minister said “no one had expected that they have such hatred towards the traditions, rituals and spirituality.”