Police reconfirm 46-year-old Sri Lankan woman offered prayers at Sabarimala temple sanctum

Sasikala, however, tells reporters that she did not offer prayers at the sanctum and the police dissuaded her.

Updated - November 28, 2021 12:28 pm IST

Published - January 04, 2019 02:23 pm IST - Thiruvananthapuram

Sasikala, a 46-year-old Sri Lankan woman, offered prayers at the sanctum in Sabarimala temple late on Thursday. Photo: Special Arrangement

Sasikala, a 46-year-old Sri Lankan woman, offered prayers at the sanctum in Sabarimala temple late on Thursday. Photo: Special Arrangement

The Kerala police on Friday reconfirmed that Sasikala, 46-year-old woman from Sri Lanka, offered prayers at the sanctum of the Sabarimala temple on Thursday night.

Ms. Sasikala, however, later told reporters that she did not do so and the police dissuaded her.

A top official told The Hindu that the police have video footage of her entering the shrine and they were ready to produce it if sought by a court or any competent legal authority. But, he said, matters of faith were highly personal and inextricably linked to the Right to Privacy and the police would not officially contradict Ms. Sasikala’s statement.

The woman and her family had intimated their arrival to the police in advance and sought their protection. Plainclothes officers escorted her to the temple and she prayed in front of the sanctum at 9.30 p.m. They accompanied her downhill to Pampa by 11.30 p.m. Her passport gave her date of birth as December 3, 1972.


A day of protests, violence

Ms. Sasikala’s temple entry at night came after the day witnessed a maelstrom of protests and violence and that left scores injured, disrupted life in general, and resulted in wanton destruction of public and private property across the State during a hartal called by right-wing organisations against the entry of two women into the temple in the early hours of Wednesday.

Police have upped security at the pilgrim centre in the wake of reports that activists of the Sabarimala Karma Samathi, a Hindu Aikya Vedi construct, had marshalled their cadres to thwart any further police bid to escort women between the age of 10 and 15 to the temple ''Sannidhanam''.

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