Sabarimala: Dalit woman leader S. P. Manju, 35, daubed her hair grey and pulled a white cloth over her head to disguise as she ascended the 18 holy steps and had darsan of Lord Ayyappa at Sabarimala on Tuesday morning, fulfilling her vow to return after the police turned her back on the maiden visit on October 20.
Ms Manju, hailing from Chathannoor in Kollam, revealed details of the darsan on her FB post, but the police was yet to confirm her claim from the CCTV footage.
Ms Manju later told reporters that she had taken the help of a team, which had assisted her during an abortive visit more than two months ago. There was meticulous planning this time lest the ‘traditionalists’ or vigilantes should spot her and foil her plans.
She also did not take police help for strategic reasons, for the police, either in uniform or plainclothes, would give the game away.
She had taken the 41-day vratham (a series of holy vows before making the trek) and carried the traditional headgear, with two coconuts, a must for climbing the 18 steps to the deity.
“I’ll go back every year to have the darsan. I’ll also help all those in the barred age group who want to trek the hills,” she said.
Ms Manju is the state president of Kerala Dalit Mahila Federation. Last time her house in Chathannoor had come under attack by right-wing activists, and she was threatened with dire consequences should she dare revisit the hill shrine, despite the SC verdict removing the age barrier....