Mumbai: Trupti Desai, along with five other women, were stranded at the Kochi airport on November 16, as Lord Ayyappa devotees staged a protest outside. MyNation has reported that cab drivers, cutting across religions, boycotted her, too. The protesters said Desai was not part of the Sabarimala tradition, which would entitle her to challenge it.

Sabarimala devotees staged a protest against activist Trupti Desai at the Mumbai airport on Saturday during her return from Kochi, having had to cancel her plan to visit Sabarimala. 

Desai, who had been at the forefront of the Shani Shingnapur movement canvassing for the right of women to enter the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, was blocked at the Kochi airport by Sabarimala devotees, who claimed she had no knowledge about the Sabarimala tradition.   

Founder of the Bhumata Brigade, Desai was trapped inside the Kochi airport as Ayyappa devotees began to protest outside, demanding the activist to drop her plan of visiting the Sabarimala shrine till she is 50.

"We have come here to protest. Trupti Desai should try going there after attaining the age of 50 years and not before that. She won't be allowed to step inside the temple before that. There are so many other devotees working towards this and stopping other women too," a protester told ANI.

Although the group led by Desai arrived at the Kochi airport on Friday morning, the protesters did not allow the team to proceed to the Sabarimala shrine.

The group was left with no choice than to wait for the entire day inside the airport with no cab driver stepping forward to take them to the shrine.

Kerala Police instructed Desai to go back to Pune in the wake of protests carried out against her visit to Sabarimala.

"The cab drivers and hotel owners were threatened by the protesters here that if they provide us shelter, then they will face a law and order situation. It is sad that the devotees of Lord Ayyappa are abusing and threatening us," Desai told reporters.

Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) has been imposed in Nilakkal, Pamba and Sannidhanam as a precautionary measure as the door of Sabarimala temple opened on Friday evening.

On Wednesday, Desai wrote a letter to Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan stating that she would not leave the state if she was not allowed to enter the shrine.

On Saturday, a state-wide dawn-to-dusk hartal was called in Kerala by the Sabarimala Karma Samiti after Hindu Aikya Vedi state president KP Sasikala was detained as she tried to enter the Sabarimala shrine.

Also read: Trupti Desai, it's not gender and religion; it's about Malayalee pride and money