Sabarimala: Four transgenders draped in sarees, who were earlier denied permission to visit the Sabarimala temple on Sunday, completed their darshan of the Lord Ayyappa shrine on Tuesday after securing permission a day ago.
Arriving at Erumely early in the day, the four devotees from Ernakulam draped in their choice of attire -- saree -- were given security cover as they started their climb from Pamba at 8 a.m.
By 9.45 a.m. amidst tight security they were on the hallowed 18-steps and completed paying their obeisance to the deity. There were no protest from any quarter.
The four devotees were on Sunday prevented by the police at Erumely from completing their climb to the hilltop temple after they wished to perform their darshan in sarees.
They had then complained to Kottayam Superintendent of Police. Later on Monday they even approached Kerala High Court-appointed Director General of Police A. Hemachandran who is part of a three member committee overseeing the pilgrimage.
Later in the day, one of the transgenders, Ananya told the media they have secured permission.
The Kerala High Court on November 27 had set up the three-member observer panel to oversee the Sabarimala pilgrimage season, after numerous complaints surfaced against the manner in which the police were acting in the temple town.
Besides Hemachandran, the panel also consisted of P.R. Raman and S. Sirijagan, both retired high court judges.
The Committee got in touch with the Sabarimala tantri and the Pandalam Royal family, who gave their nod for it.
This particular group got the nod as in the past too, transgenders have prayed at the temple.
The temple town has witnessed protests by Hindu groups since a September 28 Supreme Court verdict allowed women of all ages to enter the temple, including those hitherto banned girls and women aged between 10 and 50.