Sabarimala, Dec 1 (IANS) Sabarimala protesters on Saturday stopped two women from Andhra Pradesh from advancing towards the Lord Ayyappa temple as they were from the hitherto banned age group, prompting Kerala Police to arrest three men.
All three hailed from nearby Ranni and they resisted the two women devotees — of two different groups — to advance any further after they had already walked up to the hill.
One of the devotees was 28-years-old and the other was 42. So far 14 women have had to return without praying at the shrine even after a court order allowed their entry to Sabarimala.
The police, however, said they were not informed by these devotees before their ascent to the hilltop shrine as then they would have provided the required security.
The Pinarayi Vijayan-led Left government in the state has vowed to implement a September 28, Supreme Court verdict that allows all women of all age group to offer prayers at the shrine.
The police posted in the temple town came to know about the two Andhra devotees only after protests broke out.
Both women were then escorted back to the Pamba base camp by the police, and the three men were taken into custody for putting up a strong protest.
Hindu groups and other political parties have been protesting here ever since the apex court in september struck down an earlier practice of banning entry of girls and and women aged 10-50.
On November 13, the top court also refused to stay its September verdict, three days before the temple opened for the ongoing two-month long season.
Both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party along with several Hindu groups are up in arms against the verdict.
With the two Andhra women failing to pray at the temple,