Hundreds of protesters are currently gathered outside Kochi International Airport (COK) in Kerala state as of early afternoon (local time) on Friday, November 16. Protesters are trying to prevent female activist Trupti Desai from leaving the airport and reaching the controversial Sabarimala Temple. The disruptions have been ongoing since early morning. There is a heightened security presence in and outside of the airport.
The temple, which is only open certain days in the year, is set to reopen November 16 through December 27 for the Mandala Pooja Mahotsavam Hindu festival. On September 28, the Supreme Court ruled that women of all ages were allowed to enter, overturning a 1991 ruling by the Kerala High Court that forbade women over the age of ten and below of age of 50.
Some additional 15,000 security personnel have been deployed outside the temple as it reopens Friday evening.
Individuals in Kerala and/or transiting through COK are advised to expect disruptions and delays, monitor the situation, avoid public gatherings, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.
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