Uncertainty prevails over whether a 46-year-old Sri Lankan woman entered the Sabarimala shrine and worshipped the deity on Thursday night. Though multiple reports quoted police sources saying that the woman did enter the shrine, she herself has denied this.
The woman identified as Sasikala, reached Sabarimala on Thursday night with her family. Both The Hindu and Times of India said that the woman, accompanied by plain-clothed police officers, prayed at the temple and went back to Pamba smoothly.
According to The Hindu, 'Sasikala had walked up the â€ś18 Holy Stepsâ€ť without any hindrance and offered her prayers at the sanctum'.
However, Sasikala told TV channels stationed at Pamba that she did not worship and the police had sent her back. "I am a devotee. I wanted to pray, I had completed the 48-day vratham (penance), who are they to send me back?" an agitated Sasikala can be heard asking the cameras.
Sasikala also told the media that her uterus had been removed for medical reasons and therefore she had all rights to go to the temple. "I am a devotee, I have a medical certificate," she said.
Her husband told the media that they went only till Marakootam, a point which lies one km away from the sanctum. According to the husband, the policemen in mufti retreated when they saw a camera crew. He and their son made the darshan, while Sasikala returned.
Incidentally, TV news channel Janam TV aired visuals of two policemen dressed like devotees walking towards Sannidhanam. When they spotted the camera, the two policemen first covered their faces. But when the camera pursues them, the policemen can be seen running away.
A senior police officer TNM spoke to said 'Sasikala may have worshipped', but did not give a confirmation.