BJP workers protest against Manithi women activists

Thiruvananthapuram:¬†BJP workers Monday raised slogans at the railway station here against three women activists of Chennai-based outfit ‘Manithi‘ who were returning to Tamilnadu this afternoon, after a vain bid to trek to the hill shrine of Sabarimala.

The three women volunteers had come to the capital city here reportedly to meet Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, a day after 11-members of the outfit unsuccessfully tried to make their way up the hills to the Lord Ayyappa shrine Sunday.

However, since the Chief Minister was away at Kozhikode, the meeting did not take place, official sources said. The women came to board the Thiruvananthapuram-Tiruchirapalli Intercity Express, when the BJP workers, including women, staged protests against them.

The railway police immediately helped them board the train and downed shutters of their coach, railway sources said. The protests were led by BJP’s Thiruvananthapuram district president S Suresh.

The party workers also held ‘Napa Japam‘ protest (chanting of Ayyappa mantras) and banged on the closed shutters of the compartment in which the women were travelling. The workers also alleged that the women were travelling in the compartment reserved for physically challenged people.

A protester also jumped onto the railway track shortly before the train left for Nagercoil at around noon. BJP workers squatted near the platform raising slogans soon after the train left, the railway police said.

The 11 women activists were prevented from trekking to the shrine and chased away by devotees chanting Ayyappa mantras on Sunday.