Pune: Social activist Trupti Desai, who was unable to exit the Cochin International Airport due to protests being carried out against her visit, seems undeterred in her aim to enter the Sabarimala Temple in Kerala. She arrived at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai after calling off her plan to visit the Lord Ayyappa shrine over concerns of law and order and said that next time she will follow ‘guerrilla tactics’ to reach there. Also Read - 'Avoid Coming to Sabarimala,' Urges Temple Board as More Coronavirus Cases Surface in Kerala
“Police told us that they’ll provide us security the next time we visit. We decided to return as we didn’t want violence due to us. This time we went there after announcing, the next time we won’t announce but follow ‘guerrilla tactics’,” the Bhumata Brigade founder said. Also Read - Sabarimala Temple Issue: Nine-judge Bench of Supreme Court to Hear Matter From Jan 13
Earlier on Friday night, Desai was unable to come out of Mumbai airport as protesters had gathered outside. She and the other women were later brought out with the help of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) jawans and Mumbai police personnel. Also Read - Woman Activist Who Entered Sabarimala Attacked Outside Top Cop's Office in Kochi
She was blocked by the protesters for over 10 hours at the Kochi Airport on Friday as she arrived there to visit the holy shrine in Sabarimala with a group of six other women in the previously banned 10-50 age group on November 17. On the other hand, Section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) was imposed in Nilakkal, Pamba and Sannidhanman as a precautionary measure as the Sabarimala Temple re-opened for the two-month-long Madala-Makkarvilakku puja on Friday.
Accusing the protesters of resorting to hooliganism, she said, “We were stopped at the airport. If they wanted to oppose us, they should have protested in Nilakkal but they knew that if we reached Nilakkal, we would advance to Pamba and return after Darshan. So they were scared and stopped us at airport. Protesters were resorting to violence, to hooliganism, they should not have done that. They call themselves Lord Ayyappa’s devotees but I don’t think (they) can be his devotees. They were verbally abusing us and threatening us.”
Earlier on October 19, Trupti Desai was detained by the Pune Police after she along with other women activists threatened to stop Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s convoy. She had written to Ahmednagar Superintendent of Police, demanding a meeting with the PM to discuss the Sabarimala issue.
Desai had earlier spearheaded the campaign to allow entry of women to various religious places, including Shani Shingnapur temple, the Haji Ali Dargah, the Mahalakshmi Temple and the Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple.