Mary Sweety, a 46-year-old woman from Kazhakuttam in Thiruvananthapuram, dropped her plans for a Sabarimala trek at Pampa after the police told her that they would not be able to provide security.
Mary, who claimed she believed in "three faiths" said she wanted to see Ayyappan. When asked about the possible tension due to her visit, she said, "It's only because of Ayyappan's blessings that I could reach till here."
She had almost started the trek when a group of mediapersons surrounded her with questions. "I chose today to visit the temple because it’s an auspicious day (Vijayadashami)," she said.
Police officials, who initially said they had to wait for orders from superiors before letting her take the trek, later said she would have to be on her own. "We understand your position but we are helpless. You must have heard about the protests," an official told her.
Soon, devotees started gathering around and some of them were heard pleading with her to return.
As more devotees started chanting in protest, police personnel swiftly shifted her to a Travancore Devaswom Board building. Reports late in the evening said Mary’s home in Thiruvananthapuram was vandalised by unidentified men.