As Sabarimala temple opened its door on the third day, two women attempted to enter the temple amid tight police protection, led by IS Sreejith, early morning on Friday. 24-year-old Kavitha Jakkala, a Hyderabad based news anchor and another woman, identified as Rehana Fathima from Ernakulam, were heading towards the sanctum sanctorum of the Sabarimala temple when they were stopped midway. The women were asked to head back after it was found that they were activists.
Kavitha was clad in military fatigues and a helmet to protect herself from the crowd, that also had Hindutva activists, which has been staging violent protests for the past two days. She was accompanied by three other crew members from Mojo, including reporter Balakrishna and cameraperson Narasimha. Rehana's partner Manoj has stated that they have been fasting for the past 21 days to be able to enter the Sabarimala temple.
Devaswom Minister Kadakampalli Surendran informed the Director General of Police that the temple was not a place for activism and that it would be irresponsible for the police team to take the women further. "The government's interest is to protect the interests of the devotees. Sabarimala is not a place for you to prove the power of your activism. I plead to all activists to not misuse the judgment like this. If true devotees come, the government is committed to take them to the sannidhanam. The government is not responsible for providing security to activists," he said.
Meanwhile, protestors, including the temple priests, gathered at the Nadappanthal opposing the entry of the two women. The temple priests have threatened to close the temple gates if 'traditions are ignored.'