Hours after two women in their 40s entered the Lord Ayyappa temple and offered prayers, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan stated that the two women who entered the Sabarimala temple early Wednesday were given police protection during their trek to the shrine.
"Earlier, women were not able to enter the temple due to certain hurdles. They may have entered the shrine today because they would not have faced any issues. It is a fact that the women have entered Sabarimala. Police have given them security," Vijayan told media in Kerala.
Despite the Supreme Court's verdict on September 28 last year, permitting women in the 10-50 age group, no children or young women in the 'barred' group were able to offer prayers at the shrine following frenzied protests by devotees and right-wing outfits.
The two women, identified as Kanakadurga (42) and Bindu (42), wearing the traditional black dress, with their heads covered, climbed the hill shrine at 3.38 am Wednesday.
Videos have been making rounds, in which the women could be seen moving around inside the temple premises. It is suggested that they managed to make it inside the shrine of the Lord Ayyappa's temple through the staff gate at around 3:45 am. They were accompanied by few police officers, who were dressed in uniform as well as in civil.
The women trekked to the hill a day after the state-sponsored 620-km-long human wall of women was formed Tuesday from Kasargode in the northern part of the state till the southernmost district of Thiruvananthapuram.
Bindu, one of the women devotee who entered the Sabarimala Temple, described her journey to the sanctorum, while speaking to Republic TV on Wednesday.
"We(Bindu and Kanakdurga) reached there early morning and police officers were there to support us. We can send photos and videos of it. We started from Pamba at 1:45 PM and reached Sannidhanam at 3:30. We got the darshan within a few minutes and then we returned to Pamba. No devotees stopped us. Most of them were looking but we got darshan," Bindu said while speaking to Republic TV.
(With PTI inputs)