New Delhi: Women’s rights activist and Bhumata Brigade leader Trupti Desai on Tuesday arrived in Kochi to go to the Sabarimala shrine, which opened its gates on November 16 for the three-month annual pilgrimage season.
Her visit comes nearly two weeks after a five-judge Constitution bench headed by then Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, in a 3-2 majority decision, decided to send to a larger seven-judge bench, review petitions into the apex court’s September 2018 order lifting the ban on entry of women in the 10-50 age group, in the Kerala shrine.
The top court further refused to stay the original order, for the time being.
Speaking to news agency ANI, Desai, who is leading a six-member team, said that she would move a contempt petition in the court if her entry into the shrine is blocked. “Today is Constitution Day. If blocked, we will move court with a contempt plea. I had already informed the Chief Minister as well as the state DGP about my visit. It is their duty to provide us protection,” she said.
“I will leave only after visiting the shrine,” the activist added
Intriguingly, one of the members of her team is Bindu Ammini, who in January created history by becoming one of the two women who, by entering the temple, became the first women devotees to achieve the said feat.
Last year too, Desai tried to visit the temple but was sent back from the airport itself as she couldn’t go out due to massive protests against her.
The Kerala government has strongly advised against anyone visiting the temple for ‘activism.’ A number of women devotees have already been sent back by the police.