Bindu Ammini entered the Sabarimala Temple with her friend last year

Bindu Ammini entered the Sabarimala Temple with her friend last year

Bindu Ammini, who prayed at Sabarimala last year, attacked with chilli spray before fresh attempt

Bindu Ammini, who was later taken to a hospital, arrived at the commissioner’s office along with Pune-based activist Trupti Desai and other activists to seek police protection before they attempt to trek till Sabarimala.

Bindu Ammini entered the Sabarimala Temple with her friend last year
Bindu Ammini entered the Sabarimala Temple with her friend last year

A Hindu Helpline activist was arrested Tuesday for spraying chilli powder on Bindu Ammini, one of the two women who had first managed to offer prayers at the Sabarimala temple last year, outside the Kochi Police Commissioner’s office. The activist was identified as Srinath Padmanabhan.

Ammini, who was later taken to a hospital, arrived at the commissioner’s office along with Pune-based activist Trupti Desai and other activists to seek police protection before they attempt to trek till Sabarimala.

This is Desai’s second attempt to visit the shrine after protesters barred her entry in November last year. “I will leave Kerala only after offering prayers at the shrine,” the activist said, adding that she has chosen today (November 26) to visit the shrine as it was the Constitution Day. Desai also said that she has brought along the 2018 order of the Supreme Court that lifted the ban on entry of women of all ages at the Lord Ayyappa temple.

While it has not stayed its 2018 order, the apex court has recently decided to refer review pleas against its judgment to a larger bench. Following the SC’s ruling this year, the Kerala government has adopted a cautious approach and made it clear Sabarimala was not a place for activism. It also added that no women devotees will be granted police protection and that they will not be allowed near the shrine without the Supreme Court order.

Many women, including a 12-year-old girl, have been turned away from the shrine since the temple opened last month.

The Sabarimala temple opened for the annual ‘mandala-makaravilakku’ festival this year on the evening of November 16. The mandala pooja is scheduled on December 27 after which the sanctum sanctorum closes for three days. It reopens again on December 30.

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