In the backdrop of the Sabarimala protests, the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) President, A Padmakumar on Friday said that the board has sought an explanation from the Sabarimala thantri, Kandaru Rajeevaru, for his decision to close the temple on Wednesday after two women below the age of 50 entered the temple.
Speaking to the media after a meeting of the TDB, Padmakumar said that they have informed the thantri to provide them with an explanation within 15 days. Lashing out at Kandaru Rajeevaru, Padmakumar said that the thantri’s decision to close the temple for ‘purification rituals’ was against the Supreme Court verdict and is a contempt of court.
The TDB president said that the Devaswom Commission has given a report to him and based on the thantri’s response to it, the future course of action will be decided. Padmakumar also emphasised that the TDB is bound to implement the SC verdict and that they have been working accordingly.
On January 2, two women, Bindu and Kanakadurga, entered the shrine during the early hours of the day, after a failed attempt by both the women to enter the temple on December 24. Following this, the gates of the temple were closed for almost an hour for the ‘purification rituals.’
Reacting to the thantri’s decision to close the temple, Kerala Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan in a press meet on Thursday said, “The women went to the Sabarimala temple based on the SC verdict. We then witnessed something strange… the thantri closing the temple. The court pronounced the judgement after hearing the thantri’s version also. He was a party in the case. If he personally had difficulty in following the court judgement, he should have quit the post. It’s up to the Devaswom Board to decide on the temple’s affairs, so the thantri’s act is a breach of the court's judgement. The government is not stubborn that women should enter the temple, but was doing its best to arrange security for the women. It’s not a challenge against faith. We were acting as per the constitution.”