Having been stranded at the Cochin International airport’s domestic arrivals section since her flight landed at about 4.30 am, activist and Bhoomatha Brigade leader Trupti Desai will now return via the 9.30 pm flight from the airport, Mathrubhumi has reported.
Desai has reportedly conveyed that she is ready to go back but says that she will come back later before the pilgrimage season ends. The Hindu hill shrine’s gates reopened today at 5 pm and will remain open till 27 December. It will again reopen on 30 December and remain open till 20 January this pilgrim season.
Desai’s arrival had led to an intense over 12-hour long confrontation between Sabarimala devotees and Kerala police with the administration refusing to arrange transport to the shrine for her.
Desai’s arrival also led to inconvenience for other passengers while interfering with the normal functioning of the airport as Ayyappa devotees continued to arrive at the airport requesting her to go back to respect the shrine’s traditions. Meanwhile, cab drivers too had refused to ferry the party to the shrine as protests against her visit continued.
"The manner in which she publicised her visit and came is a major problem. She publicised the time, date," a police source said, speaking to News18. Desai was flanked by six other women, all under the age of 50, contrary to the temple’s tradition for entry to the temple.