'Right to Pray' activist Trupti Desai is scheduled to reach Kerala on November 16 and will attempt to go to the Sabarimala temple on November 17. She is expected to land on the afternoon of November 16 and will be staying at a guest house in Kottayam. Trupti Desai on Wednesday wrote to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan detailing her travel plans and has sought protection for her journey to Sabarimala.
“From 16th November, the doors of Sabarimala temple are being reopened. A total number of 7 ladies, including myself, are entering the temple,” Trupti Desai writes in the letter. “Some devotees of Ayyappa Swamy/some party activists may try to create a disturbance. And they can put blame on us that we are responsible for these disturbances. Therefore, the request of police to closely monitor everybody's action (sic),” the letter adds.
Trupti adds that she has received threats on social media and has sought police protection from the time they land in Kerala till their return to Maharashtra.
“Some of the threats received by us also include references like, as soon as we land on airport our hands and legs shall be cut off from our bodies and remaining portion of our damaged bodies will be despatched to Maharashtra, which signifies a big danger to our lives in Kerala, efforts were be made to kill us... It is necessary that we have security and protection till such time we leave Kerala,” the letter adds.
Trupti told TNM that on November 17, the group of women will leave the Kottayam guest house at 5 am and will attempt the trek to Sabarimala temple at 7 am.
“(We) face danger from the functionaries of RSS/BJP, functionaries of Congress and devotees of Ayyappa Swami. Therefore action be taken against whoever (tries to) obstruct us and try to take law into their own hands. It is also requested that care should be taken to see that we reach the sanctorum of the temple unhindered and with safety (sic),” Trupti’s letter states, adding that the responsibility of any untoward incident will be on the Kerala government.
However, Trupti has made a strange request that Kerala government should bear all her expenses.
“We request Government of Kerala to bear all the expenses with protection incurred by us related to arrangements made since we reach Kerala and subsequently to Maharashtra, the government of Kerala should also in furtherance bear expenses incurred by us towards car pick-up, accommodation/meal. If asked for, we will submit before the government bills/invoices related to expenses borne by us for car pick-up, lodging/guest house/meal (sic),” the letter adds.
Trupti’s letter has also been marked to PM Narendra Modi, Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, the Kerala DGP and the Pune Police Commissioner.
On Wednesday, Trupti told TNM that she will be visiting the temple as there is no stay on the Supreme Court's verdict on September 28 which allowed women entry into the Sabarimala temple. Sabarimala temple will be opened for a period of two months during the Mandala–Makaravilakku season from November 16 to January 20, 2019.
Last time the temple gates were opened in October, around a dozen women had attempted the climb up to the Sabarimala temple but had to turn back following strong protests from Ayyappa devotees and anti-women protesters.