Two women devotees in their 40s managed to enter Lord Ayappa’s Temple in Kerala’s Sabarimala on Wednesday morning. The women also offered prayers inside the temple at around 3:45 am. The women were escorted by a team of state police. The women were dressed as men and managed to enter the temple. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has confirmed the news. Reacting to the entry of women devotees in the temple, Vijayan said that he is satisfied with the development. He said that the Supreme Court’s order was fulfilled without any protests. These women devotees had earlier also tried to enter the temple last year. But were forced to retreat to the base camp of the Lord Ayyappa Temple.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan: Today, two women entered #SabarimalaTemple. We had issued standing orders to police to provide all possible protection to any woman who wants to enter the temple. pic.twitter.com/GdfS2BEi6i— ANI (@ANI) January 2, 2019
The women had faced massive protests and despite police protection, they were unable to visit the Sabarimala shrine. These two women of menstruating age had started trekking Sabarimala on December 24 despite strong protest from devotees. On December 23, the Sabarimala foothills had witnessed high drama as hundreds of devotees blocked paths and chased away a group of 11 women of menstruating age being escorted to the hill shrine by police.
Kerala had witnessed massive protests by devotees and the BJP opposing the apex court verdict of September 28 permitting women of all age
Thousands of devotees have gathered at the foothills of the shrine as the first phase of the annual pilgrimage season to Sabarimala comes to an end in the next three days.
The women were earlier stopped at Appachimedu, a place en route Sabarimala, by protesters, who were later removed by police.
The BJP has started protesting in front of the houses of these women against their attempt to trek the hill.
The bid of the 11 women, who were members of a Chennai-based women empowerment outfit, 'Manithi', to reach the shrine to offer prayers was unsuccessful on Sunday as they were forced to return by protesting devotees.
The trek to Sabarimla starts from Pamba, which is around four km from the hilltop shrine.