The protests took a violent turn when around 11 protesters were arrested by the Pamba police.

Heckled and booed TN women return from Sabarimala as cops fail to give security
news Sabarimala Sunday, December 23, 2018 - 13:35

Tension hung heavy in Pamba as the group of 11 women devotees from Tamil Nadu’s Manithi organisation attempted to climb the 18 steps to the Sabarimala shrine on Sunday. However, after eight long hours of massive protests and failed discussions with the police for their protection, the 11 women decided to return.

After the last round of discussions, Pamba Special Officer Karthikeyan told the media, “The 11 women have decided to leave Pamba. We will provide them protection till wherever they want.” As the women were being escorted into their own vehicle, Selvi, the leader of Manithi outfit, said, “We do not want leave; but the police forced us to. However, we will come back.”

When asked why the women were leaving, Karthikeyan told the media, "It's their decision; we did not ask the reason."

On Sunday morning, as the initial rounds of discussion with the police regarding their protection failed, the women continued to sit in Pamba, hoping the officials would safely take six women devotees in the group to the shrine.

Meanwhile, massive protests broke out as a large crowd started calling Ayyappa chants and raising slogans, opposing the women’s entry.

However, the protests took a violent turn when around 50 protesters were arrested by the Pamba police. According to ANI, Pathanamthitta district magistrate extended Section 144, which prohibits gathering and protests between Elavungal and Sannidanam, till December 27.

Soon after the arrests, the team of 11 women started inching towards the shrine. However, they were soon stopped as more protesters started chanting slogans, heckling and blocking them. As the protests heated up, the Pamba police, including women officers, quickly escorted the women to the police control room.

Due to the protests that were turning violent, the 11 women made a run for the control room, while protesters continued to heckle and raise slogans against them.     

From the control room, the women of Manithi organisation were taken to a police van, where Karthikeyan held discussions with them. Before the discussion, Karthikeyan told the media, “We will ask them where they would like to go and will provide them with whatever  security they need.”

Visuals showed that the 11 women were writing something on a piece of paper. 

Meanwhile, the BJP sat in protest in front of Cliff House, the official residence of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, against the attempt of Manithi group to enter the shrine. In Thiruvananthapuram, the protest has been progressing at places like Sreekariyam and Pappanamcode as well.

Show us some love and support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.