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Sabarimala row: Four transgenders stopped on way to Lord Ayyappa Shrine, sent back

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Sabarimala, Dec 16: Four members of the transgender community have alleged that the Kerala police stopped them from proceeding to the Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala and verbally abused them on Saturday morning. The alleged incident happened in Erumeli police station in Kottayam district. Erumeli, which lies 40 km from Sabarimala, is one of the entry points to the hill shrine.

Sabarimala row: Four transgenders stopped on way to Lord Ayyappa Shrine, sent back

Transwomen Avantika Vishnu, Renjumol Mohan, Trupti Shetty and Ananya Kumari began their journey from Ernakulam by a car early on Saturday. They said they had requested Pathanamthitta district collector on December 12 to provide police protection to visit Sabarimala.

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Ananya, who led the group, said police threatened them when they insisted on visiting the temple, saying there was no ban on transgenders at the hill temple.

The transgender community has also decided to carry out protest marches throughout the state.

Meanwhile, a group of women from Chennai, all in the age group of 30-40 years, have approached the state government to provide police protection to worship at the temple.

The temple town has witnessed protests by Hindu groups since the September 28 Supreme Court verdict that allowed women of all ages to enter the temple that hitherto banned girls and women aged between 10 and 50.

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