On Sunday, the police prevented Anannyah, Renjumol, Thripthi and Avanthika from visiting the temple, threatened them and even asked them to change to men’s wear.

4 trans women enter Sabarimala shrine offer prayers amid police protection
news Sabarimala Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - 15:38

After much commotion over their entry into Sabarimala temple on Sunday, the four transgender women - Anannyah, Renjumol, Thripthi and Avanthika - finally climbed the hill and offered prayers at the shrine on Tuesday. Dressed like any other woman Ayyappa devotee, the four wore a black saree, carried the irumudikettu (bag of holy offerings) and climbed the hill amid police protection, headed by Manoj Abraham IG.

“Apart from the problems we faced on Sunday, we did not have any other problems, either from the police, the devotees, the public or the Karma Samithi. We went there, performed darshan and returned,” Anannyah told TNM as she and the other trans women were climbing down towards Pamba to head back to Ernakulam.

On Sunday, the four trans women were turned away from Sabarimala by Erumely police, although there are no restrictions on transgender persons conducting darshan at the temple, legally and traditionally.

Anannyah said that they were offered police protection till Erumely police station. However, getting permission was no easy task for the group. In the early hours of Sunday, as the four were heading to Nilakkal, the Erumely police called them to the station. At the station, the police instructed them to change their sarees and wear men’s clothing.

In a Facebook live video on Sunday, Anannyah said that the police were rude to them and did not allow them to travel further. She also said that the police officers were aware of their attempt to enter Sabarimala temple, and that they were also present during the ceremonies for filling their irumudikettu.

On Monday morning, the group first met Hemachandran IPS, the officer responsible for the affairs at Sabarimala, as well as retired Justices S Sirijagan and PR Raman, the panel appointed by the Kerala High Court to monitor the pilgrimage in Sabarimala. After they found that there were no issues in transgender persons visiting Sabarimala, the trans women submitted a request to Kottayam SP Harishankar IPS, and later met Manoj Abraham and Anilkanth IPS.

Finally, the four trans women were granted permission and police protection to climb the Sabarimala hill shrine.

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