Thiruvananthapuram: Security has been beefed up as protesters gathered outside Kerala's Cochin International Airport, ahead of the arrival of activist Trupti Desai. Founder of the 'Bhumata Brigade', Desai, is set to visit the revered Sabarimala temple on Friday.
"Protestors should not resort to violence. Once we reach there, we'll see what level of security state gives us. Even if the state doesn't give us any security, we'll still go, but I can be attacked. I have received so many threats of attack and killing," Desai said.
Concerned over her safety, Desai earlier sought security from the Kerala government during her visit to the temple. She has been receiving death threats since Thursday. The Bhumata Brigade chief had earlier written to the Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in this regard.
"A team of seven women will visit the temple. Have been receiving threats since yesterday. I believe the government will provide us with security," Desai said.
The two-month-long annual 'Mandala Makkaravillakku' season will start on Friday. Last week, more than 500 young women registered for darshan in the online queue website of Kerala police.
Speaking on Desai's visit to the Sabarimala temple, BJP's MN Gopi said, "Won't allow Trupti Desai to go out from the airport using police vehicle or other government means. Airport taxies also won't take her. If she wants, she can use her own vehicle. There will be agitations all along her way even if she goes out from the airport."
The Kerala government, meanwhile, convened an all-party meeting on Thursday to discuss various issues relating to the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala, which witnessed widespread protests following the Supreme Court decision to permit entry of women of all ages into the shrine.
The decision to call the meeting was taken on Tuesday - the day when the apex court refused to stay its September 28 verdict, lifting the centuries-old ban on girls and women in the 10-50 age group from entering the shrine and decided to hear a batch of review petitions in open court on January 22.
The temple had witnessed a string of protests from devotees when it opened for monthly pujas for five days in October and two days early this month.
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.