Though the women said that they will not back off from their plan to offer prayers at the temple, the police forced them to return as protests mounted. They were taken to safety at the base camp in Pamba by the police in a vehicle.
Two young women en route to Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala were forced to turn back by protesters near Neelimala on Wednesday morning.
The women – Reshma Nishanth and Shanila Rajesh from Kunoor – were surrounded by a large number of protesters around 1 km after they crossed the base camp.
Police arrested five persons who had blocked the women on the trekking path but forced them to return as the protests mounted even though the women said they will not back off from their plan to offer prayers at the temple. They were taken to safety at the base camp in Pamba by the police in a vehicle.
The two women are part of a nine-member group who were on their way to the temple. They said they had already completed their 41-day penance before embarking on the trek. “There is Ayyappan there. Ayyappan has no objection to women entering the temple. Why are these people protesting then?” they asked reporters.
Activist Rahul Easwaran backed the protesters who stopped the women who tried to “intrude into #Sabarimala”.