Two women who had unsuccessfully attempted the climb up to Sabarimala earlier this week, Shanila Satheesh and Reshma Nishanth, made another attempt to enter the temple on Saturday morning but had to go back this time too, according to reports.
On Saturday morning, the two women reached the Nilakkal base camp but were stopped. The two women sought security and held talks with the police for about half an hour, but were asked to return, according to a report in Mathrubhumi.
On Wednesday earlier this week, Shanila and Reshma, both under the age of 50, had attempted the trek but had to retreat after facing massive protests. A nine-member group, including the two women and seven male companions brought along to help ensure their safety, had arrived at Pamba early on Wednesday morning. They were stopped by a rapidly swelling group protesters at Nilakkal around 4.30 am.
After nearly three to four hours of protests, the pair were accompanied to Pamba police control room, where it was decided that they would abandon their trek. Reshma told reporters that the police forced them to abandon their trek and descend the hill and that they did not abandon the trek of their own volition. After they came back, the two women sat on a hunger strike, demanding that adequate arrangements be made for them to complete their Sabarimala darshan safely.
According to a report in Asianet, more groups of women are likely to arrive Sabarimala before the shrine closes on the last day of the Makaravilakku season. A New Indian Express report had on Friday stated that members of Maniti, a Chennai-based women activistsâ€™ group, and Navodhana Keralam Sabarimalayilekku, a Facebook collective of women desiring to visit Sabarimala, have been mobilising women to visit the hill shrine.
This comes a day after the Kerala government submitted in Supreme Court that over 50 women had visited Sabarimala since the SCâ€™s September 28 verdict allowing women of all ages to enter the temple. The Kerala government had based the information on digitised records of people who have entered Sabarimala in this season.
However, the list had several discrepancies, as it featured women well over the age of 50 as well as some men.
The Kerala government had made its submission while the court was hearing a petition of the two women who entered Sabarimala â€“ Kanakadurga and Bindu â€“ who had sought 24x7 police protection. The Supreme Court has directed the Kerala government to ensure their security.