An already heated meeting held between the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) with the members of Pandalam erstwhile royal family and thanthris (high priests) to discuss the Sabarimala temple women entry case came to an abrupt end on Monday afternoon. Pandalam family and thanthri representatives reportedly left the meeting with TDB officials in anger before concluded.
The Pandalam family, while stating that Sabarimala temple services would open on Wednesday, wanted the TDB to file a review petition with the Supreme Court on Monday itself. The TDB rejected the Pandalam familyâ€™s demand, stating that it could discuss filing the review petition only during its next meeting, to be held on October 19. The TDB also pointed out that the Supreme Court will remain closed until 22 October.
The TDB also reportedly rejected the Pandalam familyâ€™s contention that Justice Paripoornan had ruled that the custom of women entering Sabarimala was valid and that the ban on the age-old custom had legally been in place since 1991.
PG Sasikumar Varma, Pandalam Palace managing committee president, told reporters "We have urged Devaswom Board to file a review petition immediately. And until the petition is heard, the status quo should be maintained.â€ť This means that the Pandalam family demands that the ban on women between age 10 and 50 should remain in place until the SC either heard or disposed of the review petition in this case.
Sasikumar also said, â€śThe board says they can discuss our demand for review petition only by October 19, which is not satisfactory for us. Hence, we thought not to waste more time on it.â€ť He also expressed his disappointment that not a single demand made by the family had been accepted by the TDB.
A Padmakumar, president of the TDB, told reporters, â€śThe TDB has no politics; protestors, who are against the SCâ€™s verdict, should stand together.â€ť
The meeting held on Monday between the Pandalam family, high priests and TDB had earlier fallen through as the Pandalam family was disappointed that the TDB had not invited former thanthri (priest) Kandararu Mohanaru, and finally agreed to attend the meeting on Monday, only when he had been invited.