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Justified, says tantri on purification rites after women's entry


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 a.m on January 2 for the "purification rituals" after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan that day confirmed two women, Bindu Ammini and Kanaka Durga had 'darshan' at the hilltop temple at 3.30 a.m.

These two women belonged to the 10-50 age group that remained banned until the Supreme Court's September 28 verdict allowing entry of women of all age. The lifting of the ban had been vigorously opposed by traditional devotees in the state.

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.

A meeting of the TDB meeting is to be held here on Tuesday but board sources revealed that with the Supreme Court to look, on February 6, into a bunch of review petitions against its September 28 verdict, it will wait to take up the tantri's response after the court hearing.

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