Thiruvananthapuram: Two young women from Andhra Pradesh were on Saturday stopped midway while they were enroute to the Sabarimala temple in Kerala. The women, both in the age group of 10 to 50 years, had to return after they faced protests from pilgrims.
Navojamma, 26, and Kripavathi, 42, from Guntur and Godavari districts respectively were on their way to offer prayers at the hill shrine of Lord Ayyappa. They had managed to reach Marakootam, about one km from the Sannidhanam (temple complex), but had to return from there.
Three Ayyappa pilgrims have been detained for blocking their way, police said. The pilgrims, who were returning from the shrine after prayers, protested and chanted 'Ayyappa mantras'.
Police added that the women did not inform them about their journey or even asked for any security.
The three pilgrims were arrested under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including unlawful assembly, police said.
Since the September 28 verdict of the Supreme Court, allowing women of all ages to offer worship, no women in the 10-50 age group has been able to reach the shrine due to frenzied protests from devotees.
(With inputs from agencies)