Tension at Sabarimala as two women blocked

Tension prevailed at Sabarimala in Kerala during the early hours of Wednesday as two women who tried to visit the Ayyappa hill shrine were blocked by a section of pilgrims.  PTI file photo

Tension prevailed at Sabarimala in Kerala during the early hours of Wednesday as two women who tried to visit the Ayyappa hill shrine were blocked by a section of pilgrims. As the tension mounted, the police took the women back to Pamba. However, the women were insisting that they wanted to visit the temple.

Natives of North Kerala district Kannur, Reshma Nishant and Shanila Sateesh, had reached Pamba by around 4 a.m. on Wednesday along with around seven males. Both were in the 10-50 age range. As they started trekking and covered over one kilometre,  some pilgrims identified them and raised a protest. More pilgrims joined them and blocked them from proceeding further. A police party rushed to the spot.

As the protests mounted and more and more pilgrims joined the protest, the police asked the women to return to Pamba. The women, however, insisted that they had taken the ritualistic fasting after deciding to visit the Ayyappa temple and hence they wanted to visit the temple. They also said that the police had assured protection to women who reach up to Nilakkal base camp. But the took the two back to Pamba by around 7 a.m. Senior police officers were holding talks with the two.

They were later learnt to be shifted to Pathanamthitta as more pilgrims were assembling at Pamba and the trekking route. Reshma and Shanila had announced their wish to visit Sabarimala earlier. Subsequently, they faced widespread threats and also suffered cyberbullying.

 

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Tension at Sabarimala as two women blocked

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