Former Travancore Dewaswom Board President Prayar Gopalakrishnan on Wednesday moved the Kerala High Court seeking to remove current board President KP Sankardas. Gopalakrishnan claimed that Sankardas had violated the customs of the Sabarimala temple, PTI reported.
In his plea, Gopalakrishnan claimed that Sankardas violated his oath of abiding by Hindu customs when, on November 5, he climbed the 18 holy steps of the temple without the Irumudikettu, which are the offerings carried by devotees for the deity. The petitioner also alleged that Sankardas had violated a Kerala High Court order which said that a board member can be removed for “proved misbehaviour”.
The Travancore Dewaswom Board manages the Sabarimala shrine. On Monday, a controversy had broken out when Sankardas and a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh leader, Valsan Thillankeri, climbed the 18 steps, allegedly without the offerings.
Attacking the RSS, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan claimed that its leaders were visiting the shrine without following the customs and traditions. “I am not a person who goes to the temple,” Vijayan said. “Even then, when I visited Sabarimala recently, I went to the sannidhanam without climbing the holy steps as I had not carried the Irumudikettu.”
Protests had erupted at the shrine last month after the Supreme Court allowed women of menstruating age to enter the sanctum sanctorum. On Tuesday, demonstrators stopped a 52-year-old woman from entering the shrine until she had shown proof of her age.