Sreedharan Pillai’s remark: Sabarimala Tantri told to give explanation by tomorrow

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BJP State president had said the tantri consulted him on closing the temple in the event of a violation of the ritualistic tradition on the temple precincts.

The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) has asked head priest (tantri) of the Sabarimala temple Kantararu Rajeevararu to furnish an explanation by Friday on whether he had sought Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) State president P.S. Sreedharan Pillai’s counsel on closing the temple in the event of a violation of the ritualistic tradition on the temple precincts.

TDB secretary N. Vasu said here on Wednesday that the board had sought an explanation from the head priest on Tuesday on the basis of Mr. Pillai’s revelation at a meeting of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha in Kozhikode recently.

The notice was served on him at the Sannidhanam on Tuesday and he has been given three days to explain his stance on the issue, Mr. Vasu said.

Violation of tradition

Asked about the complaint that TDB member K.P. Sanakaradas had violated the ritualistic tradition by ascending the Holy 18 steps without the customary ‘irumudikettu’ when the temple was opened for Chithira Attatirunal on Tuesday, Mr. Vasu said the complaint was baseless.

“Lighting the ‘aazhi’ is a ritual held at Sabarimala. When the head priest and melsanthi and other priests went to light the ‘aazhi’ they had invited Mr. Sankaradas too to accompany them as a board representative and he only followed them, Mr. Vasu said.

Mr. Sankaradas told reporters here in the morning that he had not violated any tradition and only accompanied the priests as a board member.

A meeting of the board held here in the morning discussed the arrangements to be made for the Mandalam-Makaravilakku season.

HC moved

Meanwhile, BJP leader K. Surendran and former TDB president Prayar Gopalakrishan have moved the Kerala High Court seeking the removal of Mr. Sankaradas as TDB member for violating the custom of the Sabarimala temple.

In their two separate writ petitions, the petitioners contended that Mr. Das had while assuming office had sworn that he would abide by all customs of the temple. In fact, he had climbed the Holy 18 steps on November 5 without carrying an ‘irumudikettu’.

He had thus violated the customs, resulting in violation of the oath.

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