Activist Trupti Desai blocked by protesters at Kochi airport

Activist Trupti Desai, who had vowed to visit the Sabarimala temple was forced to stay inside the Cochin International Airport on Friday as protesters gathered outside.

The protesters said that they would not allow Desai and her six women colleagues to step out of the airport.

Desai and her group arrived at Kochi airport at around 4.40 a.m. on Friday. However, they have failed to get out of the airport as activists protested right outside.

The taxi drivers had also refused to take Desai and her colleagues on their onward journey.

The protesters comprising devotees and BJP workers assembled early Friday outside the airport and started shouting slogans.

Police reached there in large numbers to control the situation. Despite pleas from the police, Desai said she would not return without visiting the temple.

Activist Desai, wrote to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and state police chief about her plans to visit the shrine, seeking police protection during her visit to the state.

The Supreme Court in September passed an order of allowing women of menstruating age to enter the temple.  

Many women in the past had attempted to enter the shrine but failed to do so due to violent protests by devotees.

The Kerala government called an all-party meeting on Thursday to discuss the issue. However, the Congress and the BJP walked out.

The Supreme Court on January 22 will hear the review petitions challenging its own order. 

The temple is scheduled to open on Friday at 5 p.m.