Nilakkal: A young woman from Cherthala, Anju, sought police protection to trek to Sannidhanam along with her husband and two kids after the temple opened on Monday evening.
The police was verifying the background of the 26-year-old while filing this report.
Inspector-general Ashok Yadav told DC that police was ready to provide security if she wanted to go to Sannidhanam in the morning. She is waiting in the police control room, but the officer refused to divulge more details.
As she approached the police, Hindu Aikya Vedi activists sat in the Nadapandal of Ganapathy temple at Pampa chanting Ayyappa slogans.
Since morning, hundreds of devotees were streaming into the base camps of Nilakkal and Pampa, but police let them trek only by 1 pm after tight security checks.
While the situation in Pamba was relatively peaceful till evening, devotees agitated in Nilakkal after police refused to allow KSRTC buses on the Nilakkal-Pamba stretch. The officers asked devotees to get down and detained the bus till noon, making them furious. Many walked down almost 20 km to Pamba. At 5.20 pm, a group of protesters stopped a young woman called Neethu along with her husband Vineesh and 18 others from Athani, Thrissur. Mr Vineesh clarified to police that his wife came to Pampa for the first-feeding ceremony of their six-month-old baby and she would stay back there. With this, they subdued, after 10 minutes of heckling. Despite the tight security, protesters in disguise of devotees had managed to stop her right inside the Nadapandal. Meanwhile, leaders of various agitating groups started trekking to Sannidhanam. BJP general secretary M.T. Ramesh, on his way to Sannidhanam, told reporters that his party would always stand by the sentiments of devotees. RSS leader Valsan Thillankeri, who was among them, warned of strong protests if a violation of rituals happened at the temple. “We are ready to talk with stakeholders and Hindu outfits if the government asks for a reconciliation,” he said, also on his way uphill. Ayyappa Dharma Sena president Rahul Easwar also trekked to Sannidhanam while Hindu Aikya Vedi president K.P. Sasikala Teacher camped at Pampa leading women chanters. The police remained vigilant at Nilakkal, Pamba and Sannidhanam with high-quality surveillance cameras and face detection devices with images of troublemakers...