Nilakkal, October 19: Two women, including a reporter from Telangana, made a failed attempt to visit Sabarimala temple on Friday after angry Ayyappa devotees prevented them from proceeding further. A police team led by IG S Sreejithhave threw a security ring around the women; however, protesters didn't let them visit the Sabarimala temple.
"We have told the female devotees about the situation so they will now be going back. So we are pulling pack. They have decided to return," IG S Sreejithhave told reporters. Journalist Kavitha Jakkal of Hyderabad-based Mojo TV and another woman activist Rehana Fatima carrying Irumudikkettu (holy bundle) were on their way to Sabarimala temple when protesters blocked their way. Sabarimala Devotees Visit Vavar Mosque Before Arriving at the Temple, Here Is Why.
Unfazzed by the massive protests, Kavitha Jakkal said she will come back. Their attempt to reach the shrine came a day after a New Delhi-based woman reporter of New York Times made a failed bid to visit the temple. She accompanied by her male colleague, a foreigner, descended the hills from Marakkoottam area. However, she was stopped midway by devotees opposing the entry of women of menstrual age into the hill shrine. Sanctity of Sabarimala Temple Should Be Preserved: Devotees.
There have been strong protests by devotees opposing the entry of girls and women of menstrual age into Sabarimala temple. Female journalists were also attacked by protesters. Speaking to news agency ANI, devotees visiting the shrine on Friday reiterated that the sanctity of the temple and Lord Ayyappa "must be preserved at any cost".
"The point of the Supreme Court is right that men and women are equal. But here some culture is going on that women in age group of 10-50 years aren't allowed in the temple. It's our custom. We should follow our customs as India is custom-following country," a devotee said. "Lord Ayyappa is a 'Nithya Brahmachari', this must be preserved at any cost," another devotee said.
Elderly women were seen entering the Lord Ayyappa temple, but women between 10 to 50 years of age refrained from visiting the shrine for the sake of their own safety.