"Feeling Proud," Says Reporter, Who Almost Made History At Sabarimala

Sabarimala Temple Protest: Kavitha Jakkal agreed to return when the police told her that the head priest threatened to shut the temple and stop puja. Ms Jakkal, is one of the two under-50 women, who tried and failed to enter Sabarimala shrine on Friday.

Sabarimala Temple: Kavitha Jakkal, one of the women under 50, wore a helmet and bullet proof jacket

Highlights

  • Kavitha Jakkal trekked to Sabarimala, stopped 100 metres from temple
  • She said the police have ensured full protection
  • She had to return after priests threatened temple will be closed
Sabarimala, Kerala:

Kavitha Jakkal, is one of the two under-50 women, who tried and failed to enter Sabarimala shrine on Friday. She had to stop 500 metres away from the shrine after the head priest told the police that if the two women enter the temple, he will close the gates and stop puja.

After senior police officer, S Sreejith informed the two women, they agreed to return. On her way back, Ms Jakkal told reporters that she is "very proud" for attempting to go to Sabarimala temple. "Today, we have faced very dangerous situation. We walked 5 kilometres for Sabarimala temple and we were stopped just 100 metres away. Though we can go there if we want, Sir (police) has promised to give us full protection," said Ms Jakkal.

Ms Jakkal, 24, a journalist from Mojo TV in Hyderabad, was in a bullet proof jacket and helmet and surrounded by 300 policemen as she walked from Pamba to Sannidhanam. Mother of a little boy, the journalist had earlier said, she won't give up or stop before entering Sabarimala and will only return after darshan. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had supported her and assured security.

The Devaswom minister of Kerala said devotees would be given full security but he had learnt that the women who were attempting to visit the temple today were activists who just wanted to make Sabarimala a "platform to prove stuff".

For centuries, Sabarimala has not allowed women of menstruating age - between 10 and 50 - to visit the temple as they believe the deity, Lord Ayyappa, is celibate. Last month, the Supreme Court ended that ban.

The temple opened for the first time on Wednesday after the landmark September 28 order ending what the judges called a custom "almost like untouchability".

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