The Kerala government recently ordered a probe into the allegation that young women had entered the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala. The age-old practice at the temple bans entry of women aged between 10 and 50 years.

Kerala Temple Affairs Minister Kadakampally Surendran said certain photographs, which purportedly showed young women at the Sabarimala hill shrine, are being circulated on the social media.

“I have asked the vigilance wing of the temple affairs department to probe the incident,” Surendran said.

The minister said he received complaints that a businessman from Kollam district was making gains by ensuring VIP facility for darshan at Sabarimala temple. “A complaint said the young women had gone to the temple along with that businessman. If anyone tries to make gains by facilitating VIP darshan, it is an offence. I have asked the vigilance officer to look into the veracity of the photographs,’’ he said.

The entry of women in the age group of 10 to 50 years at Sabarimala temple is a contentious issue, pending in the Supreme Court. Recently, the CPM-led government in the state had favoured the entry of women of all ages to the temple, which is managed by the Travancore Devaswom Board.

Board president Prayar Gopalakrishnan said the Devaswom Board welcomed the probe by the government.

“After hearing the reports about the entry of young women at Sabarimala temple, I have personally inquired with police officials stationed there. I was told that two women, aged 61 and 62, had gone up to the hill shrine.” He said the board was committed to retaining the sanctity of the hill shrine.

Source: Indian Express

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