Group of Transgenders on the way to Sabarimala sent back by police

Vastavam web: A group of transgenders, who were on their way to offer prayers at Sabarimala temple, were stopped here, around 60 km from the shrine, and sent back by police Sunday. The transgenders alleged that the police harassed them and said they were not banned from darshan at the shrine, but the police said there was a need to get some legal clarity in this issue. Ananya, Trupti, Renjumol and Avanthika were dressed in black sarees, the traditional pilgrim attire, and were carrying the customary ‘irumudikettu’ (sacred offerings to God).

They said they reached here in the early hours but the police was reluctant to provide them security and permission to proceed further. “The ban on menstruating women is not applicable to us. Though we have told this to police, they were not ready to allow us to proceed further. They harassed us mentally and forced us to wear male dress,” Ananya said. The devotee also said they would approach the high court against the police’s move. However, Kottayam Superintendent of Police S Harishankar rejected the charges of harassment and said everyone had the right to offer prayers at Sabarimala.

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.