Sabarimala: After 11 Hrs At Cochin Airport, Trupti Desai Flies Back Home

Sabarimala row Strike called in Kerala after arrest of Sangh Parivar leader

As the shrine opened at 5 pm, the large number of devotees braving chill weather, carrying offerings rushed to climb the 18 steps leading to the main temple complex.

"Police told us that they'll provide us security the next time we visit".

He accused the Kerala government of trying to destroy the Sabarimala temple. The situation was prevented from getting out of hand largely due to concerted effort by CIAL airport authorities, CISF and district administration who were seen shuttling between Desai and the protesters led by BJP, RSS and Sabarimala Karma Samithi.

The board will move the court either on Saturday or Monday, TDB president A Padmakumar told reporters in Pamba on Friday.

Meanwhile, the Travancore Devasom Board on Friday said it will move the Supreme Court seeking more time to implement its September 28 order.

The activist, Trupti Desai, who arrived with a group of women at Kerala's biggest and busiest airport in the city of Kochi, at 4.30 a.m. (2230 GMT), has been held up for hours by the demonstrators. We didn't want to cause any trouble to people of Kerala because of this, " she said during a brief interaction with the media before boarding the flight to Mumbai.

However, Desai has asserted that she will not return unless she visits the temple.

"When we landed at the Kochi airport, protestors gathered there hurled abuses at us and threatened us to go back".

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Separately late Friday police arrested another woman, K.P Sasikala, a local community leader, for seeking to defy a ban on spending the night at the temple site. The ban is practiced for ages, based on such a tradition, but was ruled as discriminatory by Supreme Court recently. But this does not mean the state government has softened its stand. Even basic facilities are missing this time. Television visuals at 11 am showed Trupti Desai and the six women accompanying her sitting inside the airport and eating breakfast.

The terrain of the Sabarimala mountain is such that it will take hours from the base camp, some 20km away now, to reach the temple, after an arduous trek.

But when the temple reopened for several days last month, Hindu hardliners clashed with police, assaulted journalists and prevented the court order from being implemented. The temple opened Friday evening amid mounting tension in the backdrop of the stand-off over protests by certain sections.

Over 3,700 persons have been arrested so far and 546 cases registered against various people for violence during protests across the state after the top court permitted women of all ages to pray at the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala.

On January 22 the Supreme Court will also hear challenges to its original September ruling, one of a series of recent liberal decisions including the decriminalisation of gay sex and of adultery.

The temple complex and nearby areas had witnessed widespread protests after the state government made a decision to implement the 28 September apex court verdict.

The court had, earlier on October 9, declined an urgent hearing on the challenge by an association which called the Sabarimala order "absolutely untenable, irrational and perverse".

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