Tantri, TDB disagree over emergency shutdown of Sabarimala shrine
Sabarimala (Kerala): Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) member K.P.Shankara Das on Saturday disagreed with the Sabarimala Tantri family's threat to close the temple doors if any woman within the barred age group arrive for darshan.
"It's the Supreme Court that has directed that women within the age group of 10 to 50 will be allowed within the shrine's sanctum sanctorum. Hence all are duty bound to adhere to it," the former legislator told the media here:
"It is not fair to say that the temple will be locked. Moreover the protest staged on Friday by temple staff and the Tantri (chief priest) was wrong and an explanation will be demanded," he said.
Frenzied protests and threats to close down the temple forced two women on Friday to return from Sabarimala on the third day of unrest as Kerala Police declined to escort a third woman to the hill shrine.
The Tantri family and members of the Pandalam royal family considered closing down of the temple if further attempts were made by women from the barred age group.
Chief Priest Kandararu Rajeevaru later on Friday confirmed that he would have no other choice but to close down the temple, if the age old traditions of the temple was violated.
On Saturday, Rajeevaru garnered more support. Malikapuram temple chief priest Anish Nampoothiri said he could not find fault with the Lord Ayyappa temple Tantri's statement, and that no action could be taken by the TDB against the Sabarimala staff.
On the fourth day on Saturday there has been no report of any women between the age of 10 to 50 attempting a trek to the hilltop shrine
Pathanamthitta District Collector P.B. Nooh told the media here that he has not got any request from any woman for darshan at the temple on Saturday.
Security has been further tightened around the shrine which will close its doors on October 22.
The TDB would be submitting a detailed report about the happenings in and around the temple both to the Supreme Court and the Kerala High Court next week.