Sabarimala:Trupti Desai arrives at Kochi amid protests

Sabarimala:Trupti Desai arrives at Kochi amid protests

Bhumata Brigade activist Trupti Desai and others. ANI file photo.

Activist Tripti Desai of Bhumata Brigade, who spearheaded the campaign for women entry in several temples, landed in Kochi airport on Friday morning to visit the famous Lord Ayyappa Temple in Sabarimala.

However, Tripti and members of her brigade were holed up at the Cochin International Airport in Nedumbassery as none of the taxi drivers are willing to take them to Pamba, the foothills of Sabarimala, 190 km away.

The members of the Bhumata Brigade are waiting at the airport waiting area since morning. Police said to have refused to help finding them a cab service to ferry them to Pamba.

On Thursday, Kerala police had said that it will not give any special considerations for Desai and seven others who plan to visit the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple this weekend. Desai on Wednesday, in an email to the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, had requested the state to handle the security, stay and travel arrangements for them.

Tripti had announced that she will offer prayers at the Sabarimala temple on Saturday after the Supreme Court allowed women of all age to enter the shrine. She had spearheaded the campaign for women to be allowed into various religious places, including Shani Shingnapur temple, the Haji Ali Dargah, the Mahalakshmi Temple and the Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple.

Though the temple opened for a brief period in October and November, none of the women in the said age group were allowed inside the temple due to vociferous protests from people and organisations who are against the Supreme Court order.

The organisations which have support from Congress and BJP say the traditions of Sabarimala cannot be compromised with.

BJP activists camped outside the airport told news agency ANI that they "won't allow Trupti Desai to go out from the airport using police vehicle or other govt means. Airport taxies also won't take her. If she wants, she can use her own vehicle. There will be agitations all along her way even if she goes out from airport."


The temple will open on Friday evening for the 62-day long Mandala Pooja-Magaravilaku annual pilgrimage season, which begins on Saturday amidst lack of clarity on whether women of all age would be allowed inside the shrine in line with Supreme Court verdict.