Kochi: Kerala Police on Sunday stopped four transgender persons enroute the Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala, saying they won’t be allowed to proceed if they are dressed like women. The transwomen also accused the police of misbehaving with them.
The transgender persons — identified as Ananya, Trupthi, Avanthika and Ranju — who were on ‘vritham’, the mandatory austerity for visiting the Lord Ayyappa shrine, left for Sabarimala in the wee hours of Sunday, but were stopped at Erumeli police station.
Police initially said they were ready to provide adequate security if they changed their clothes, but later refused to allow them to trek to the shrine even after they agreed to change their attire.
“The police insisted that we dress like men. Initially we said we wanted to do the ‘darshan’ in the same dress. They asked to wear either pants and shirts or mundu and shirts,” Ananya told the media.
“Later, we agreed to change our clothes, but the police withdrew their earlier promise of taking us to the temple. The police were continuously harassing us, they were talking to us as if they were talking to criminals,” said Ananya, adding that the police threatened their driver as well.
“Police were misbehaving with us throughout. They were talking to us as if they were talking to men. We didn’t get any respect from them,” Ananya said.
The quartet returned to Kottayam with police security.