Enthralled by the Supreme Court’s refusal to stay its 28 September verdict of allowing women of childbearing age to enter the sanctum of Sabarimala (Sannidhanam) against the tradition of the temple, Maharashtra based ‘right to pray’ activist Trupti Desai declared that she along with six other women would reach the state on 17 November to “exercise their right to pray guaranteed by the constitution.”, The Indian Express reports.
“We will reach Sabarimala on 17 November and won’t leave Kerala until we are allowed worship,” said Desai. She claimed that threats are being issued against her, that she has sent letters to the Prime Minister, Kerala Chief Minister and the State Police Chief seeking protection.
“I have received more than 300 threats on my Facebook account. The messages threaten to murder me, cut me into pieces if I land in Kerala. I have been addressed in dirty, unprintable language,” she added.
Interestingly, reports suggest that Desai has not only sought protection for the state government of Kerala but asked it to bear the entire expenses for her team during their stay in Kerala.
“We request the Kerala government to bear all the expenses with protection incurred by us related to arrangements made from the time we reach Kerala and subsequently Maharashtra,” Desai said in a letter to Kerala Chief Minister.
Kerala police has denied any special provision for Trupti Desai. “No special security will be provided, Desai is like any other pilgrim” reports quoted police officials.
However, no woman has entered Sabarimala since the 28 September ruling, and the Kerala Chief Minister has convened an all-party meeting to discuss the proceedings further.
The pilgrimage season at Sabarimala starts on Friday (16 November) evening when the doors of the sanctum sanctorum open for the ‘Mandalam-Makaravilakku’ festivals. Millions of devotees come to worship Lord Ayyappa at the shrine during this period after a tough 41-day vow of abstinence.
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