Activist Trupti Desai, who wants to enter Kerala’s Sabarimala temple in defiance of a decades-old custom on women of menstrual age, has been blocked by hundreds of protesters at the Kochi airport since she landed at 4:30 am on Friday. The protesters, who support the restrictions on women despite the Supreme Court ending the ban in a landmark order in September, say they won’t allow Trupti Desai and her six colleagues to step out of the airport.
Taxi drivers say they will not take the visitors anywhere. Trupti Desai had written to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and the state police chief seeking protection to visit the shrine, where no woman has been allowed even after the Supreme Court ruling.
The hilltop shrine will open at 5 pm today for a two-month-long puja in which lakhs of devotees and tourists are expected. This is the third time the temple is opening since the Supreme Court on September 28 allowed women of all ages to enter the shrine.