Controversial ‘activist’ Trupti Desai who had arrived in Kochi early on Tuesday to visit the Sabarimala shrine, irrespective of whether she was given security, declared later that she would be returning to Pune by midnight after the Kerala Police refused to give her protection for her planned visit to Sabarimala.
On November 15, Desai had declared her plans to enter Sabarimala and had urged Kerala police to escort her inside sanctum sanctorum. She had made the announcement after the Supreme Court refused to stay the earlier SC judgement allowing women of all ages to enter the shrine. The court had also referred the review petitions against the judgement to a larger bench. Welcoming the Supreme Court decision, Desai said she was planning to visit Sabarimala in the next few days and added that mere police protection by the Kerala government was insufficient to ensure that women could worship at the Ayyapa shrine in peace.
Calling the arrival of Desai in Kerala a conspiracy, State Minister Kadakampally Surendran has said that certain vested interests are behind her visit.
Soon after her arrival at Kochi Airport on November 26 (Tuesday), Desai was taken to the Police Commissionerate in Ernakulam, where a large number of activists belonging to the Sabarimala Karma Samithi arrived and staged protests demanding that Desai abandon her plans to visit Sabarimala. Some protesters attacked the activists with pepper spray also. The protesters, who included a large number of women, dispersed after the police assured that the activists would not be allowed to proceed.
According to media reports, Desai has demanded a “written statement” from the Kerala Police that she would not be provided protection to visit Sabarimala.
Notably, after the Kerala police’ excesses at the behest of the Left government in Kerala was slammed last year, it has been on a cautionary mode. They have made it clear that the SC’s decision to take on the review petitions for the September 2018 order and its statements on the regard have de facto stayed the earlier order and they will not provide state protection to women within the restricted age-group who are seeking entry into the shrine.
The Supreme Court of India led by CJI Ranjan Gogoi did not arrive at a conclusive decision in Sabarimala review petitions and referred the case to a larger bench by a 3:2 majority.
Trupti Desai, who was stopped from entering Sabarimala shrine last year, and was turned back from Kochi airport after being stranded there for almost 14 hours, had ‘vowed’ to offer prayers at the shrine when it opens for worship this year.
According to reports, Trupti Desai had announced that she will visit the Sabarimala temple “unannounced” in the future using “Guerilla tactics”. Desai, the founder of the ‘Bhumata Brigade’ had faced severe protest by Hindu groups last year after she attempted to enter the shrine in an attempt to violate and desecrate the age-old customs in the Sabarimala shrine.
In yet another development, another activist, named Bindu Ammini, one of the two women who were sneaked into Sabarimala last year by the communist government, was attacked with chilli spray by an unidentified person while she waited near a police station with an intent to visit the temple shrine today. She, later claimed that she arrived in Kochi after a request from Desai.
The efforts of non-Hindus, activists and atheists to forcibly enter a Hindu religious shrine under the garb of democratic rights and disregarding the faith and traditions of the devotees have been criticised widely by Hindus around the world.