The Travancore Devaswom Board will seek an explanation from the head priest of Kerala’s Sabarimala temple for his decision to perform purification rituals after two women below the age of 50 entered the shrine on Wednesday, PTI reported. The board manages the temple.
Board president A Padmakumar told the news agency that the decision of the head priest K Rajeevaru was against the Supreme Court verdict that had lifted the restriction on women of menstruating age from entering the temple. He said the priest would have to file a reply within 15 days.
The two women who offered prayers at the shrine before dawn on Wednesday were the first to do so after the Supreme Court’s verdict in September. Massive protests had prevented dozens of women between the ages of 10 and 50 from entering the shrine until then, even with police protection. However, hours after the two women left, the temple was briefly shut for purification rituals.
A member of the Travancore Devaswom Board had then told the Hindustan Times that the board would take action against the priest. On Thursday, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that Rajeevaru should not continue in his position since he carried out the purification rituals. “The priest’s decision to shut temple to do purification rites was a regressive step,” he had said. “The tantri acted against the top court of the country. He is not in a position to continue in his post.”