Reshma Nishanth and Shanila had to turn back at Neelimala after devotees at the site protested their trek. According to Mathrubhumi, the two women, who were accompanied by 6 men, were taken back to Pamba by the police after protests that lasted over 3 hours.
The women began trekking to the shrine from Pamba around 4:10 am. But were stopped by protesters at Neelimala. They were determined to continue their trek but were forcibly taken back after their path was blocked by protesting devotees chanting the ‘nama japam’. Five of the protestors were arrested.
Kanakadurga and Bindhu Ammini had entered the shrine and offered prayers on 2 January. The two women, who returned to their homes this week, were in hiding after their visit to the temple due to protests.
Kerala has witnessed a series of protests since the Supreme Court verdict in September 2018 lifted the ban on entry for women of menstruating age.