Ernakulam: S P Manju, a young woman Dalit politician, reached Kerala’s controversial Sabarimala temple’s foothills at Pamba on Saturday, seeking to conduct the holy trek uphill to the sanctum, and setting the stage for another round of tensed moments in the hilltop shrine. But the police decided not to admit her, citing heavy rains in the premises and the need for additional security arrangements, according to Manorama News.

The police is likely to do background checks on Manju and reconsider her wish to visit on Sunday, according to the report.

The Supreme Court recently granted women of all ages the right to enter the Sabarimala temple, reversing the Kerala shrine’s tradition of barring girls and women of menstruating age—10-50 years.

This is the first time a Dalit politician is seeking to enter the temple.

Previously, protestors have blocked the entry of women activists and journalists despite heavy police presence.

Manju reached the temple’s base camp at Pamba on Saturday noon, claiming to be a devotee of the deity Ayyappa, but was soon stopped by a bunch of protestors, who had gathered despite prohibitory orders.

The situation had turned tense earlier on Saturday after a woman started trekking to the hilltop, reported Hindustan Times. She told protestors that she was 52 but they insisted she was not above 50, the paper said.

Also read: Opinion | A leap of faith at Sabarimala

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