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Sabarimala row: Trupti Desai returns Pune, vows to visit shrine using ‘guerilla tactics’


After being stuck for nearly 24 hours at Kerala’s Kochi airport, women’s rights activist Trupti Desai was forced to return to Pune without visiting Sabarimala Temple. However, after returning to Pune, Trupti asserted that she will next visit the hill shrine unannounced using “guerilla tactics”.

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Talking to the news agency ANI, Trupti said, “When we landed at the Kochi airport, protestors gathered there hurled abuses at us and threatened us to go back. The police, too, requested us to leave saying anything can happen. We didn’t want anything to happen to the people of the state because of us, so we decided to return. Police have told us that they’ll provide us security the next time we visit. This time we went there after announcing, but the next time we won’t announce that we’re visiting, but will follow guerrilla tactics.”

Narrating her ordeal, Desai also said that cab drivers were not ready to take her and her 7-member team to Sabarimala fearing agitation. “Two taxis did arrive at the airport to take us to Sabarimala. However, protestors said they would destroy the cars and attack us. Therefore, the cabs denied to take us to Sabarimala,” she added.

“Protesters were resorting to violence and hooliganism, they should not have done that. They call themselves Lord Ayyappa’s devotees but I don’t think they can be his devotees. They were verbally abusing us and threatening us. If they wanted to oppose us, they should have protested in Nilakkal but they knew that if we reached Nilakkal, we would advance to Pamba and return only after Darshan. They were scared and hence stopped us at the airport itself,” she noted.

Notably, 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. The protestors comprising devotees and BJP workers announced that Trupti and her colleagues would not be allowed to go out of the airport.

On Friday evening, Sabarimala Temple reopened for the third time after Supreme Court on September 28 allowed women of all age group to offer prayers at the hilltop Lord Ayyappa temple.

It is to be noted that 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.

Also Read: Sabarimala Temple reopens; Trupti Desai still stuck at Kochi airport

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