Kerala once again failed to make history as the two women who made an attempt to trek to the Sabarimala temple decided to return back to the base camp Pambha on Friday.
“We have told the female devotees about the situation, they will now be going back. So we are pulling pack. They have decided to return,” Kerala IG S Sreejith said.
“It’s a ritualistic disaster. We took them up to temple and gave them protection but ‘darshan’ is something which can be done with consent of priest. We will give them (journalist Kavitha Jakkal and woman activist Rehana Fatima) whatever protection they want,” Sreejith told news agency ANI.
The women – a journalist of Hyderabad-based Mojo TV and a woman activist, were escorted by about 300 policemen in riot gear.
Reports say that the women took the decision to return back after the Tantri (priest) conveyed to the police that they would stop the rituals and close the doors of the shrine if the two women attempted to enter the temple.
The women were stopped 500 metres before the shrine by devotees. The two women will receive police protection on their way back to the base camp.
Protesters began to assemble near the temple, laid down on the ground and dared the police to shoot them. Protesters also squatted on the path leading to the hilltop temple.
Inspector general of police S Sreejith had earlier conveyed to the protestors that the police will not go back on implementation of the Supreme Court ruling. Even as he told that he had no problem with the protest on the woman devotees, he made it clear that women have the right to enter the temple.
Kavitha Jakkal of Hyderabad based Mojo TV and woman activist Rehana Fatima, started the journey at 6.50 am amid heavy rain under heavy police protection from Pambha, the base of the hilltop temple.
Their attempt to reach the shrine came a day after a New Delhi-based woman reporter of a foreign media outlet made a failed bid to visit the temple.
On Thursday, a dawn-to-dusk shutdown across Kerala was called by outfits owing loyalty to Hindu groups and the BJP.
The Supreme Court, last month, had struck down a rule that disallowed girls and women in the age group of 10-50 years from entering the Sabarimala temple in Kerala.