Sabarimala temple protests LIVE Updates: A group of 11 women below the age of 50 years, who had arrived from Tamil Nadu on Sunday morning, to climb atop the hill shrine and offer prayers to Lord Ayappa, had to return without offering prayers at the Sabarimala temple amid protests. Hundreds of devotees blocked paths and chased away the group being escorted to the hill shrine by the police. They could barely move 100 metres through the traditional path towards the Sabarimala temple, which is about five km away from Pamba base camp. This was the 11th attempt by women devotees since October to enter the Sabarimala shrine, which also failed on Sunday.
Police have detained Lord Ayyappa devotees protesting against the entry of women devotees to Sabarimala temple at Pamba base camp as the state administration implemented Section 144. The prohibitory orders have been extended till December 27 to maintain the law and order situation. The order prohibits unlawful gathering and protest between Elavungal and Sannidhanam.
Members of the Chennai-based ‘Manithi’ outfit, the women are squatting on the road since 5.20 am following the continuing protests even as the police have thrown a security cover around them. The police officials also held talks with the representatives of the outfit. But the talks have largely failed as the coordinator of the outfit, Selvi, insists that they would not return without darshan. Six of the 11 women, who are part of the group, are carrying the traditional irumudikettu which is mandatory to climb the ‘pathinettam padi’ (holy steps leading to sanctum sanctorum). The women insist that they want police protection to offer prayers at the shrine.