The Pune Police on Friday morning detained activist Trupti Desai of the Bhumata Brigade after she along with other women activists threatened to block PM's convoy. Trupti, who is leading the protest for Women entry in Sabarimala Temple, was marching towards Shirdi temple along with other protesters to meet Narendra Modi, Who will be visiting Shirdi temple today and question him about the violence faced by women in Kerala. While addressing the media, the activist said:
"Even after the Supreme Court's decision to allow women of all ages into the Sabarimala temple, they are not being allowed inside. The women trying to enter the temple are being heckled and abused. The protestors are spreading violence and BJP is supporting it. Today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Sai Baba temple. I want to ask him that if one can safely visit Sai Baba temple then why women are not being allowed inside Sabarimala after the Supreme Court's decision. The police has detained us. They are not letting us move even a step forward. If such action was taken by the Kerala Police then the women could have easily entered Sabarimala".
The doors to Kerala’s Sabarimala temple opened on Wednesday for the first time after the Supreme Court allowed women of all ages to enter the hilltop shrine, however, female devotees were halted by a wall of protesters who tried to intimidate journalists and locked horns with the police.
Tension simmers even on day three of the temple being open as protesters continue to block women from entering the temple, irrespective of what the law says.
Earlier on Thursday, Suhasini Raj, a Delhi based woman journalist with The New York Times, had reached Appachimedu. It was the closest to the shrine a woman in the age group of 15 to 50 has reached in the last 28 years, reports suggested. She left Pamba to reach Sabarimala on Wednesday and made it a quarter of the way to Sabarimala Temple before being blocked. Raj was verbally abused by pilgrims around her. She was blocked by protesters upon reaching the halfway point during the trek. Protesters blocked her path by lying down on the ground. Police have thrown a security ring around Raj accompanied by her colleague, a foreigner.
Earlier on Wednesday, mobs had a free run, performing searches on buses for women, blocking their passage, intimidating and unleashing terrifying attacks on women journalists.
Republic TV's South Bureau Chief Pooja Prasanna was among those who were attacked. As many as 100 men surrounded her car, shoved their faces into every transparent surface, shouted obscenities and stole the equipment. Even when Pooja sat inside a police van, with nearby police personnel also quaking in their boots, their lathis snatched away by the mob. Women protesters ambushed her, grabbed her throat and hit her. News Minute's Saritha Balan also faced physical violence at the hands of a mob and recounted the tale to Republic TV, the description of the abuse and kicks she faced positively spine-chilling.