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    Ayyappa devotees gathering turns into anti-govt protest

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    Kozhikode:  The gathering of ayyappa devotees organized by Sanatana Dharma Parishad titled 'Haindavam' at Kozhikode beach,  turned into a protest gathering against the state government's stance regarding women's entry into Sabarimala.

    The meet of hundreds of devotees including saints from various maths and community leaders,  was inaugurated by Tantri family member Kalladikkode Thankam.   National president of All-India Sabarimala Action Council,  Retd Justice A N Kumar presided over the meet.

    Former DGP TP Sen Kuimar,  Action  Committee patron Chidananda Puri,  Swami Viviktaananda Saraswati,  KK Kochu,  former PSC chairman KS Radhakrishnan,  KP Sasikala, Ali Akbar, Abdussalam Musaliar, Valsan Thillankeri and PR Nathan spoke on the occasion.

    The meeting of Sabarimala Action Council's executive council, held as precursor to the meet, decided to expand the protests on the Sabarimala issue to different parts of the country.   The decision is to have more protest activities on trhe lines of Ayyappa jyoti conducted in Kerala.  Representatives from nine states participated in the meeting.

    A demand will be raised to the Central Government to make comprehensive legislation to protect beliefs and traditions.   General Secretary of the Council SJR Kumar said that the Action  Council had no politics and it would  lend support to those who stood by the devotees.

    The meeting also demanded that the Travancore Devasvom Board should be abolished and an alternative body should be set up,  and that cases against those who had made the namajapa rally should be withdrawn.

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