Activist Trupti Desai reaches Kerala to visit Sabarimala, stuck at airport after protest

Kochi: Gender activist Trupti Desai and six other women, who arrived here on Friday to visit the Sabarimala temple amid strong protests by Hindu activists, are stuck at the airport.

Desai and her group arrived at around 4.45 a.m. They have failed to get out of the airport as Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Sangh Parivar activists protested right outside.

“We won’t allow her to get out of the airport. Why is she so adamant on breaking the tradition of the temple? We are also adamant. We will not let her move out,” an angry female protester told the media.

Despite pleas from the police, Desai said she would not return without visiting the Lord Ayyappa shrine.

Senior police officials from Ernakulam district arrived and were speaking to Desai.

Prior to her arrival, the activist wrote to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan requesting for police protection right from the time she steps out of her plane at Kochi on Friday till she takes her return flight out of the state.

The temple is scheduled to open on Friday at 5 p.m. for two months.

The temple town has witnessed protests by Hindu groups and temple tantri since the September 28 Supreme Court verdict that allowed women of all ages to enter the temple that hitherto banned girls and women aged between 10 and 50.

The apex court on Tuesday refused to stay its earlier verdict.