Appachimedu, Kerala: Two women protesters, en route to the Sabarimala Temple with police escort, were stopped two kilometres from the shrine by a group of protesters early Monday morning. They were eventually brought back to Pampa.
News agency ANI reported that the women, both believed to be under 50 years of age, were surrounded by protesters here and were stopped from moving ahead. It is reported that the accompanying police force asked for more personnel to ensure safety and to maintain order. It was eventually decided to bring the two women back to Pampa base camp.
This follows a day of high drama when a group of 11 women were halted by fellow pilgrims before they could make their way to the shrine on Sunday. They too were being escorted by police personnel but were chased back. "11 women devotees had come to offer prayers at Sabarimala Temple but they were stopped by other pilgrims. The women devotees have returned. We can't use force. It might create a law and order problem," Shaji Sugunan, Special Officer, Law and Order, Pamba, had said.
It is reported that there were attempts made to arrest the protesters who had blocked the road but hundreds of devotees, who are against the entry of women between 10 and 50 years of age at the shrine, descended to charge the group and the accompanying security contingent away.
Meanwhile, even as several batches of women will reportedly continue to try to reach and enter the shrine, the BJP and other right-wing activists plan to continue with their namajapa protests across the state.