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Transgenders denied entry at Sabarimala temple, allegedly asked to dress in men's attire

The transgenders said they were subjected to ridicule, threats and was asked to return by the police.

Transgenders denied entry at Sabarimala temple, allegedly asked to dress in men's attire

Kottayam: The Kerala Police on Sunday denied entry to four transgenders who came for a darshan to the Sabarimala temple. Speaking to the media here, Ananya, one of the four, said that they were subjected to ridicule, threats and was asked to return by the police at Erumely, the first base camp at the temple town.

"We began our pilgrimage on Saturday from Ernakulam and the special branch wing of the police was witness to the prayers and all the ritual functions that we undertook. But when we reached Erumely, the top police official was very rude and so was the female officials," said Ananya.

"First they said, we will not be allowed to visit the temple in the ladies dress and they asked us to change to a man`s attire. Initially, we refused and after some time, we decided we will change, but the police changed their minds and asked us to return."

The temple town has witnessed protests by Hindu groups since the September 28 Supreme Court verdict that allowed women of all ages to enter the temple that hitherto banned girls and women aged between 10 and 50.

The government's stand is that it was constitutionally bound to implement the September 28 Supreme Court verdict, allowing women of all age groups to offer prayers at the shrine, while the main opposition UDF has sided with the believers. The BJP is opposing any move to allow women in the 10-50 age group to trek the holy hill for darshan at the Ayyappa temple.

When the temple was opened for monthly and special pujas in October and November, there were massive protests by devotees, following which severe restrictions, including prohibitory orders, were imposed.