Activist Trupti Desai on Friday reached the Kerala International Airport to visit the Sabarimala Temple but failed to get out of the domestic terminal following protests by several groups opposing the entry of women of the menstrual age.
While Desai remained firm about visiting the Lord Ayappa Temple, local BJP leaders defied the Supreme Court order and said that she will face agitations if goes out of airport.
“(We) won't allow Trupti Desai to go out from airport using police vehicle or other government means. Airport taxies also won't take her. There will be agitations all along her way even if she goes out from airport,” BJP leader MN Gopi said from outside Cochin airport, according to ANI.
Reacting to the protests against her visit, Desai said the protestors should not resort to the agitators. She said he will visit the temple even if the state government doesn’t provide any security.
“Protestors should not resort to violence. Once we reach there, we'll see what level of security state gives us. Even if the state doesn't give us any security, we'll still go, but I can be attacked. I have received so many threats of attack & killing,” ANI quoted Desai as saying.
Hundreds of people, including women and BJP workers, gathered outside the airport to stop Desai from coming out of the airport. Police personnel in large numbers were present at the airport to deal with the situation.
The portals of the famous Lord Ayyappa shrine will re-open on Friday evening for the two-month long Madala-Makkarvilakku pilgrim season. This is the third time the temple will open for devotees after the Supreme court verdict.
In a 4:1 verdict, the Supreme Court had on September 28 removed the ban on the entry of women of menstrual age. The verdict of the apex court was challenged by several right-wing groups. The court agreed to hear their petitions on January 22 in an open court.