Kerala HC denies bail to activist who tried to enter Sabarimala temple

Sabarimala row LIVE updates: Lord Ayyappa shrine reopens for 62 days, Trupti Desai to return to Pune amid protests

Rahul Easwar, president of the Ayyappa Dharma Sena, which is among the organisations protesting against the entry of women of all ages into the Sabarimala, also threatened that social activist Trupti Desai will have to step on the chest of protestors to enter the shrine.

"We have come here to protest".

Desai said police had advised her group not to leave the airport because of safety concerns, but vowed not to abandon plans to enter Sabarimala, the hill temple about 155 km away that is at the center of the conflict, on Saturday.

The groups say they believe allowing women who could be menstruating into the temple defiles the sacred shrine and they have asked the court to reconsider its decision.

She was blocked by the protesters for over 10 hours at the Kochi Airport on Friday as she arrived there to visit the holy shrine in Sabarimala with a group of six other women in the previously banned 10-50 age group on November 17.

"Trupti Desai should go back". Though a huge police posse under J. Himendranath, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Kochi City, was deployed at the airport, never did they exert force against the protesters to make way for the women pilgrims.

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The team had to wait for the entire day inside the airport as no cab driver agreed to take her team to their destination - Sabarimala temple.

"Protesters gather outside Cochin International Airport". 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 after Darshan. They call themselves Lord Ayyappa's devotees but I don't think (they) can be his devotees. So they were scared and stopped us at airport.

Sabarimala/Pamba: In a climbdown, Kerala government on Friday made a decision to move the Supreme Court seeking time to implement its order allowing women in child-bearing age to offer prayers at the famous Lord Ayyappa temple here, which opened for a two-month long pilgrim season.

Separate meetings between Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, opposition political parties and the temple administration on Thursday failed to resolve the impasse.

This is the third time the temple is opening after the Supreme Court's order, though no girl or woman pilgrim in the 10-50 age group could offer prayers so far following stiff resistance by devotees and activists, opposing any change in the temple traditions.

There is heavy deployment of police personnel in and around Sabarimala temple as it opens at 5 pm this evening for the "Mandala Makkaravillakku" puja in the backdrop of protests witnessed during the previous two occasions when the shrine opened.

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