KOCHI: An activist who came to Kerala’s Kochi to attempt a trek to Sabarimala temple was attacked by a man with a pepper spray right outside the office of the Police Commissioner. In a mobile phone video, activist Bindu Ammini was seen shielding her face and running away from a man who attacked her with the pepper spray. The man is seen fleeing from the compound as the orange mist of the potent self-defence weapon burns Ms Ammini. She was taken to a hospital, and then to an undisclosed location by the police.
Activist Trupti Desai has also come to the southern state again for another shot at making it to the hilltop shrine of Lord Ayyappa, nestled in the Western Ghats. Five more women, including Ms Desai, plan to trek to the shrine today.
Ms Desai, who the Kerala government said will not get any security cover, landed at Kochi airport this morning. ‘We’ll visit Sabarimala temple today on Constitution Day. Neither state government nor police can stop us from visiting the temple. Whether we get security or not we will visit the temple today,’ Ms Desai said today.
‘I will leave Kerala only after offering prayers at the shrine,’ Ms Desai said, according to news agency Press Trust of India.
The six women including Ms Desai are inside the City Police Commissioner’s office in Kochi.
The Supreme Court in 2018 in a historic judgment allowed women of all ages to enter the temple, which angered some devotees of the celibate God. The Kerala government had then promised it would provide security to women who want to walk to the temple from the nearest base camp in Pamba, some 5 km away.