The Travancore Dewaswom Board, which administers the Lord Ayyappa temple in Kerala’s Sabarimala, on Wednesday decided not to file a review petition in the Supreme Court against the court’s verdict granting women of all ages entry to the shrine. The board said that such a petition “has no relevance now”, PTI reported. The Supreme Court had on Tuesday listed review petitions against its verdict for November 13.
The board also decided not to file a report in the top court on the situation prevailing at the shrine following the verdict. Protestors prevented the entry of women of menstruating age into the shrine after monthly rituals began there on October 17. On Wednesday, Travancore Dewaswom Board member KP Sankara Das said the board would file a report only if the Supreme Court asked for it.
The board’s decision came a day after Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said his government was not in favour of filing a review petition, and wanted the Supreme Court decision enforced. Vijayan also criticised the temple’s head priest Kandararu Rajeevaru
and the Pandalam royal family, which is associated with the temple.
The royal family’s representative Sasikumar Varma said on Wednesday that it was not prepared for any compromise on the traditions and customs of the temple. “The family is not eyeing the wealth of Ayyappa temple,” he told reporters.
Meanwhile, Kerala Director General of Police Loknath Behera held a meeting with senior officers on Wednesday to discuss security measures at the shrine for the Mandala-Makaravillaku season beginning November 17. On Tuesday, a police officer told the Kerala High Court that “frenzied protests” are likely during the annual pilgrim season, and warned that the demonstrations could lead to casualties.