Written byShalini Ojha
Pune-based activist Trupti Desai faced angry protesters on reaching Kochi Airport in Kerala early Friday morning.
Desai intends to enter the Sabarimala Temple in the state and flew from Pune for the same.
However, she has not been allowed to leave the airport due to protests. Visuals showed Desai and her aides having breakfast inside the airport itself as police personnel provided security.
Reportedly, Desai asked the police to arrange a taxi for her to go to Pambha, the base camp from where the trek to the hilltop shrine begins.
However, taxi drivers refused to take her. Police tried to take Desai to a hotel but in vain.
Protesters laid on the road and told the police they can take Desai 'over their bodies'.
Despite the threats, Desai (who heads the Bhumata Ranragini Brigade) said she will not return without 'darshan' of Lord Ayyappa.
She said police tried to find a way for her from another gate as well but failed.
"Does this mean protesters are scared that we'll reach #Sabarimala once we reach Nilakkal, or, are they trying to scare us?" Desai told ANI.
The shrine is all set to open at 5 PM today amid high security. Section 144 of CrPC has been imposed in Nilakkal, Pamba, and Sannidhanam.
When the temple opened for a few days in October, no woman was allowed to enter it, despite huge security.
Protesters blocked the paths and didn't pay heed to pleas of senior officers, forcing women to return.
The Supreme Court had in September lifted a centuries-old ban which prohibited women of menstruating age to enter the temple.
This verdict garnered criticism from devotees of the Lord, who claimed the rights of the deity were ignored.
Right-wing groups have been staunchly protesting the verdict with BJP President Amit Shah asking why was Kerala government so keen in 'forcing' the decision.
But Vijayan has said the state government is duty-bound to implement the order.
The Travancore Devasom Board, which is responsible for the temple, is planning to approach the Supreme Court and ask more time for implementing the order.
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