Four transgenders draped in sarees, who were earlier denied permission to visit the Sabarimala temple on Sunday, completed their darshan of the Lord Ayyappa shrine on Tuesday after securing permission.
Arriving at Erumely early in the day, the four devotees from Ernakulam draped in their choice of attire -- saree -- were given security cover as they started their climb from Pamba at 8 a.m.
By 9.45 a.m. amidst tight security they were on the hallowed 18-steps and completed paying their obeisance to the deity. There were no protest from any quarter.
#WATCH Kerala: A transgender delegation which was stopped from entering #Sabarimala temple by police on 16 December has been granted permission after discussions with the chief priest. pic.twitter.com/3S9n4453Po— ANI (@ANI) December 18, 2018
The four devotees were on Sunday prevented by the police at Erumely from completing their climb to the hilltop temple after they wished to perform their darshan in sarees.
They had then complained to Kottayam Superintendent of Police. Later on Monday they even approached Kerala High Court-appointed Director General of Police A. Hemachandran who is part of a three member committee overseeing the pilgrimage.
Later in the day, one of the transgenders, Ananya told the media they have secured permission.
The Kerala High Court on November 27 had set up the three-member observer panel to oversee the Sabarimala pilgrimage season, after numerous complaints surfaced against the manner in which the police were acting in the temple town.
On Monday, they arrived in the state capital to meet Hemachandran.
The Kerala High Court on November 27 had set up a three-member observer panel to oversee the Sabarimala pilgrimage season, after numerous complaints surfaced against the manner in which the police was acting in the temple town.
Besides Hemachandran, the panel also consisted of P.R. Raman and S. Sirijagan (both retired high court judges).
The state had witnessed massive protests by Lord Ayyappa devotees opposing the entry of girls and women of menstrual age into the Sabarimala temple since the Kerala government decided to implement a Supreme Court order permitting women of all age groups into the shrine.
Over a dozen women have so far made unsuccessful attempts to trek the holy hills due to furious protests by devotees and right wing groups.
(With inputs from agencies)
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine