Justified, says Sabarimala tantri on purification rites

Thiruvananthapuram: Sabarimala’s tantri Kantararu Rajeeveru on Monday told the Travancore Devasom Board (TDB) that he carried out “purification rituals” following the two women’s entry, as that was “the natural practice followed whenever there is a breach of the temple tradition and customs”.

The temple was shut for an hour around 10.30 am on January 2 for the “purification rituals” after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan confirmed two women, Bindu Ammini and Kanaka Durga, belonged to the 10-50 age group. had ‘darshan’ at the hilltop temple at 3.30 am.

The tantri was served a show cause notice by the TDB, which administers the temple in Kerala’s Pathanamthitta district, last month. He had requested a further 15 days to reply to the notice as the pilgrimage season was going on and the TDB had granted the request.

The tantri, in his explanation, contended that he did only what he is supposed to do whenever there is a breach of the temple traditions and customs. He also said that before closing the temple, he had informed the people concerned in the TDB of his action.

Meanwhile, days after courting controversy over a list of 51 women who had entered the Sabarimala temple, the Kerala government on Monday said only two women of menstrual age had visited the shrine after a Supreme Court’s judgement removed the bar on their entry. In a written reply in the state assembly, the government also said the visit of a Sri Lankan woman in early January was yet to be confirmed.

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