Kerala HC denies bail to activist who tried to enter Sabarimala temple

Marsha Scott
November 18, 2018

Meanwhile, the Kerala high court has granted bail to six people arrested for allegedly attacking police and preventing devotees at Nilackal, near Pamba, when the temple doors were opened for monthly puja last month.

Amid a bitter standoff between the state government and protesters over the entry of women, the Sabarimala temple in Kerala opened for 64-day annual pilgrimage season on Friday even as Travancore Dewasom Board (TDB), which runs the temple, said it will move the Supreme Court seeking more time to implement its September 28 verdict.

"We tried to hire taxis several times, but the agitators are not allowing them to take us".

The decision for sending the women back crystallised around 6.30 p.m. following sustained efforts by the police, airport, revenue, and Central Industrial Security Force authorities to convince Ms. Desai of the seemingly insurmountable odds against exiting the airport and continuing the onward journey to Sabarimala.

"Protesters gather outside Cochin International Airport. We have to get an assurance that the government will not allow women till the Supreme Court takes up review pleas", said BJP state president P S Sreedharan Pillai even as the tantri's family hailed the TDB move.

Meanwhile, the founder of Bhumata Brigade and social activists Trupti Desai who vowed to offer prayers at Sabarimala temple has dropped her plan to visit the shrine after she was asked to return to Pune.

Around 400 protesters have stationed themselves at the entrance of the airport but Trupti Desai has stated that she will not return to Pune without a visit to Sabarimala temple.

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However, Desai has asserted that she will not return unless she visits the temple.

She has now arrived at the Cochin International Airport and has been inside since the morning, as the protesters have gathered outside the premises of the airport and are ready to attack the slain activist. The government has deployed 150 cops for our protection but three hours have gone by and the police have not been able to handle the situation. But this does not mean the state government has softened its stand.

The activist had earlier successfully led the agitation for the entry of women into the inner sanctum of Shani Shingnapur temple in Maharashtra. The temple opened Friday evening amid mounting tension in the backdrop of the stand-off over protests by certain sections.

Indian police mounted a huge security operation on Friday (Nov 16) to ensure women can safely access a flashpoint Hindu temple, after battles erupted the first time they attempted to enter following an historic court ruling.

Over 3,700 persons have been arrested so far and 546 cases registered against various people for violence during protests across the state after the top court permitted women of all ages to pray at the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala.

The court has set January 22 to hear almost 50 petitions seeking re-imposition of the ban.

The temple complex and nearby areas had witnessed widespread protests after the state government made a decision to implement the 28 September apex court verdict.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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