As protests in Sabarimala gathers steam, a Dalit woman leader put her plans of visiting Kerala’s famed shrine on hold after the police told her that it was not possible to climb the hill due to heavy rains in the area, PTI reported.
S P Manju, who is said to be in her late 30s, reached the temple foothills at Pamba river today morning seeking to undertake the hilly journey, however, the police said they convinced her about the slippery state of the roads leading to the temple and difficulties in climbing the hill and providing security cover in the rains.
When her efforts turned futile, Manju began camping in Pamba for the evening but it remains unclear if she would be returning to trek on Sunday. Meanwhile, police are examining her track record to check if there is any case that had been registered against her.
Manju, who is said to be a Kerala Dalit Federation leader, was discouraged from attempting to undertake her journey due to security reasons, but she was adamant on visiting the shrine at the earliest as a devotee of Lord Ayyappa.
According to local reports, some Ayyappa devotees allegedly had protested in Pamba to dissuade her from her decision. Meanwhile, the police arrested a group of BJP workers, including party secretary general AN Radhakrishnan in Nilakkal for violating Section 144 of the CrPC in areas adjoining the temple.
Kerala has been witnessing massive protests by Lord Ayyappa devotees opposing the entry of girls and women of menstrual age into the Sabarimala temple since the government decided to implement the apex court order.