Huge protests by hundreds of devotees at the entrance of Sabarimala temple forced the Kerala Police accompanying two women on Friday to call off their journey towards the Lord Ayyappa shrine.
At 10.50 a.m., Kavita, the Hyderabad-based journalist and her four member crew along with another woman devotee Rehna Fathima from Kochi, began their descend towards Pamba foothills of the temple.
It was around 6.45 a.m., when the two women accompanied by a 100 policemen led by Inspector General of Police S.Sreejith started their two-hour climb. Twenty led them from the front while 80 officers backed them behind as at least one of women put on police gear.
In a never-before move, around 30 employees attached to the temple tantri and the chief priest went on protest as they stopped their rituals and sat down in front of the hallowed 18 steps leading to the sanctum santorum and sang Ayyappa hymns after they heard that the two women were about to reach the shrine.
“Now I have to talk to the two women, who also have their rights according to the Supreme Court directives and it too has to be protected. Please do not create any disturbances here, but you can continue to chant the hymns,” said Sreejith.