Four transgender women entered Sabarimala to offer prayers amid police protection

On Tuesday, four transgender women were allowed to enter and offer prayers inside the famous Ayyappa shrine at Sabarimala. The four namely- Anannyah, Renjumol, Thripthi and Avanthika entered the temple dressed like any other female devotee in black saree. However, initially there were confusions on whether they can be given entry as the admission of women of reproductive age is forbidden as per the traditions.

On Sunday, during their first attempt, the group was stopped by Erumely police who asked them to dress up like proper men before entering the temple. One of them, Anannyah later went live on Facebook to narrate what transpired with her. On Monday the group first met with Hemchandran IPS, the officer responsible for affairs at Sabarimala and later with retired judges Justice S Sirijagan and Justice PR Raman, the panel appointed by Kerala High Court to kook after pilgrimage related issues.

After finding out that there are no prohibitions on the entry of transgender people, the group submitted a request to Kottayam SP Harishankar IPS, and later met Manoj Abraham and Anilkanth IPS. The four were finally granted access to the shrine on Tuesday with police escorting them.

“Apart from the problems we faced on Sunday, we did not have any other problems, either from the police, the devotees, the public or the Karma Samithi. We went there, performed darshan and returned,” Anannyah told TNM as she and the other trans women were climbing down towards Pamba to head back to Ernakulam.