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Sabarimala row: Activist Trupti Desai barred from coming out of Kochi Airport; faces massive protest

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Women’s rights activist Trupti Desai along with her six colleagues reached the Kochi International Airport in Kerala on Friday morning to visit the Sabarimala temple but was blocked by protestors at the domestic terminal.

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Trupti Desai and her six colleagues reportedly landed at 4:30 this morning to carry out her plan to enter the Sabarimala temple. A large number of protestors barred Trupti and her colleagues coming out of the airport. The protestors comprising devotees and BJP workers announced that Trupti and her colleagues would not be allowed to go out of the airport.

The police reached there in large numbers to control the situation. On the other hand, Trupti Desai said she won’t return without visiting the temple. In the meantime, taxi drivers at the airport said they will not take Desai and her colleagues to their destination.

The Pune-based activist had written to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and state police chief about her plans to visit the shrine, seeking police protection during her visit to the state.

It is to be noted that the Sabarimala temple will be reopened today evening, for the third time since the Supreme Court verdict on September 28 allowed women of all age group to offer prayers at the hilltop Lord Ayyappa temple though none could do so following stiff resistance from devotees and activists, opposing any change in the temple traditions.

After the judgement, Kerala witnessed massive protests by Lord Ayyappa devotees opposing the entry of girls and women of menstrual age into the Sabarimala temple since the government decided to implement the Supreme Court order.

Over 3,000 people were arrested for creating a ruckus over the issue and over 500 people have been chargesheeted by the police for violence.

So far, no woman in the age group of 10-50 years has yet been able to visit Sabarimala temple since the top court’s order.

However, the apex court on Wednesday refused to put on hold its order ending a ban on women of menstrual age entering the temple. The Kerala government called an all-party meeting on Thursday to discuss the issue, but the Congress and the BJP walked out.

Also Read: Sabarimala row: BJP, Congress walk out of all-party meeting called by Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan

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