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Presence of thantries on all days not required: TDB

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Kochi: The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), which manages the affairs of the famous Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala, Monday informed the High Court that the presence of 'thantries' (Priests) was not at all necessary on all days in the hill shrine.

Their services are required only to conduct special poojas like 'Padi Pooja' which are not performed in festival season, the board said in an affidavit on a petition by senior Thanthri Kandararu Maheswararu, seeking assistance of his son Kandararu Mohanaru in performing his duties at Sabarimala.

The thantri had said that due to his old age and health problems, he needs the assistance of his son, who is allegedly embroiled in a blackmailing case.

TDB said Mohanararu had no knowledge of Sanskrit as found by a commission headed by former Supreme Court judge, Justice K S Paripoornan.

Further, there is likelihood for appeal in a Thantri case relating to blackmailing by a gang who allegedly took his photographs with a woman and forcibly removed his jewels and other valuables from a flat at Ernakulam.

Considering the sentiments of the worshippers, it would not be in best interests to engage Mohanaru again, TDB said, adding they are bound to maintain the splendour and glory of Lordy Ayyappa.

The case has been posted to Nov 20.

PTI

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