Kottayam: Four transgenders were on Sunday denied entry into Sabarimala temple by the Kerala police. Speaking to the media, Ananya, one of the four, said that they were subjected to ridicule, threats and was asked to return by the police at Erumely, the first base camp at the temple town.

The four began pilgrimage on Saturday from Ernakulam, but on reaching Erumely, the police officials stopped them from entering into the shrine.

“We began our pilgrimage on Saturday from Ernakulam and the special branch wing of the police was witness to the prayers and all the ritual functions that we undertook. But when we reached Erumely, the top police official was very rude and so was the female officials,” said Ananya.

“First they said, we will not be allowed to visit the temple in the ladies dress and they asked us to change to a man`s attire. Initially, we refused and after some time, we decided we will change, but the police changed their minds and asked us to return.”

The temple town has witnessed protests by Hindu groups since the September 28 Supreme Court verdict that allowed women of all ages to enter the temple that hitherto banned girls and women aged between 10 and 50.

Earlier on December 12, the Kerala High Court directed police to remove barricades at prime spots in the temple complex of the Lord Ayyappa hill shrine at Sabarimala. It also directed police to lift restrictions like blocking pilgrims at Sharankutti, en route to the ‘sannidhanam’ or temple complex, after 11.30 PM.

A division bench of justices Ramachandra Menon and N Anil Kumar approved the report of the three-member monitoring commission appointed by it on November 28 to oversee the pilgrimage at Sabarimala temple.

The court had appointed the three-member panel to oversee the pilgrimage at Sabarimala temple and said there should not be any more protests at the shrine.

(With IANS inputs)