Hindu activist and head of the Bhumata Brigade, Trupti Desai, arrived at Kochi airport on Friday morning in order to visit Sabarimala temple amidst virulent protests. Desai and six other women arrived at the domestic terminal of the Cochin International Airport on a 4.35 am flight on Friday.
However, as of 8 am on Friday, she remains stuck inside the airport, unable to leave due to the growing number of protesters gathered outside the airport chanting Ayyappa slogans. The taxis she’d booked refused to transport her, out of fear of being attacked by protesters.
Speaking to TNM, Trupti said, ”There are some 150 policemen here deployed for protection. We are happy with the deployment. There are lots of protesters outside who have threatened to vandalise the car we travel in, so the drivers of the cars we booked left from there. We have been asked to wait because of a possible law and order situation. We will leave when situation calms down.”
She continued to tell TNM about her plans once she manages to leave the airport. “We have asked police to take us to Kottayam but it’s up to them where to take us. [They will take us] wherever it’s safe. Anyway we're going to Sabarimala tomorrow morning so doesn't matter where we go.”
Rahul Easwar, activist and president of the Ayyappa Dharma Sena, posted about Trupti's arrival on Friday morning, referring to Trupti and her companions as “Mahishi Feminists” and warning that they would learn the strength of “Hindus, Malayalis and Ayyappa devotees.”
Trupti Desai faced peaceful protests in Kochi Airport 155 kms away from Holy Sanctum Sanctorum of #Sabarimala Ayyappa— Rahul Easwar (@RahulEaswar) November 16, 2018
Taxis not willing to take Mahishi Feminists.
FemiNazis are going to know the strength of #Hindus, Malayalis & Ayyappa Devotees#SaveSabarimala
Trupti has told reporters that she will not leave Kerala until she completes darshan at Sabarimala, and that she has been promised police protection for the same. Sec 144 has been imposed in and around Sabarimala hill, in the areas Elavunkal, Nilakkal, Pamba, Sannidhanam, and from Erumeli to Kanamala.
Trupti had previously spearheaded campaigns to permit the entry of women into a number of religious places, including the Shani Shingnapur temple, the Haji Ali Dargah, and the Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple.