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4 transgenders denied Sabarimala visit, meet HC-appointed member

4 transgenders denied Sabarimala visit, meet HC-appointed member
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Thiruvananthapuram: Four transgenders, who were denied permission to visit the Sabarimala temple a day ago, on Monday approached a Kerala High Court-appointed top police official here and insisted they wanted to go to the shrine wearing sarees.

After meeting Director General of Police A. Hemachandran, Ananya told the media that they have placed their demand before the DGP, and wished to pray in the dress of their choice -- a saree.

"He (Hemachandran) has said he will check with the other two committee members and get back to us.

"We have insisted on the dress of our choice for the darshan -- to be allowed in saree when visiting the temple," said Ananya.

On Sunday, the four-member transgender team, who came from Ernakulam was stopped by the police at Erumely, the first base camp of the temple town.

The police first told them that if they changed into men's attire, they would be allowed. However, later the police refused them permission to visit the Lord Ayyappa shrine.

Ananya said they were subjected to ridicules, threats and were asked to return by the police.

From there the team went and complained to the Kottayam Superintendent of Police, A. Harishankar.

On Monday, they arrived in the state capital to meet Hemachandran.

The Kerala High Court on November 27 had set up a three-member observer panel to oversee the Sabarimala pilgrimage season, after numerous complaints surfaced against the manner in which the police was acting in the temple town.

Besides Hemachandran, the panel also consisted of P.R. Raman and S. Sirijagan (both retired high court judges).

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, including those hitherto banned girls and women aged between 10 and 50.

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