Pathanamthitta: Tamil Nadu’s Manithi team’s women, who moved towards the Sannidhanam to have darshan at Sabarimala has returned. They had to withdraw their decision to enter the famous shrine after protesters chanting Ayyappa mantra surrounded them.

The 11 women were shifted to Pampa Ganapathy Temple and later were taken to a safe place. They were able to move only 200 metres further. When protests intensified, the police arrested and removed nearly 30 protesters from there. The Manithi team barged into the guard room. The police too fled from the spot.

Earlier, Sasikumar Varma, the Pandalam royal family representative, had raised doubts over the women who arrived in Pamba on Sunday. He suspected that they could have links with naxals.

Varma told the media that he had doubts about whether the group had observed Vrutha for 41 days.

Also read: Sabarimala: Manithi group women at Pamba may have links with naxals, says Pandalam royal family member

Their arrival on the day of the procession of Thanka Anki is suspicious. We are committed to protect the temple customs. The role of top officials on it is to be probed, he said.

Meanwhile, Devaswom minister Kadakampally Surendran has said that the situation at Sabarimala temple has come to a standstill even as protests erupted again at the famous shrine on Sunday.

Surendran said the Kerala high court’s three-member monitoring committee would consider new scenarios and take a decision. The decision will be implemented by the state government, he said.

The Kerala high court has set up a monitoring team consisting of two senior judges and a senior IPS officer, specialising in Sabarimala issues. The government will implement new decisions in Sabarimala under their direction.