Sabarimala row: Priests agitate; poojas at standstill, two women forced to return from sacred 18 steps

Last Updated: Friday, 19 October 2018 (16:44 IST)
Kochi: Taking the ongoing protest by the Ayyappa devotees against the Supreme Court order allowing all women group to pay pilgrimage at the world famed Sabarimala hill shrine, turned to another level, as the junior priests, those who assisted the chief priests and Thanthirs stopped their pooja activities.
However, chief priests or Thanthris and other head priests did not participate in the agitation directly. All other priests gave up their pooja and staged a sit in agitation with chanting saranam manthras, demanding that at any cost women aged between 10 and 50 would never allow to enter Sabarimala.
According to the media reports, if in case any woman enter Sannidhanam, the sree covil would be closed and end all poojas. The pandalam royal family had given such instruction to the thanthri in this regard, sources said.
The immediate provocation of the priests was that the police had taken two women, said to be activists, near the sacred 18 steps. But they were prevented with strong resistance by the Ayyappa devotees who gathered at the Nadapanthal.
This is for the first time in the history of the Sabarimala, such an agitation was organised by the priests, which almost halt the poojas, including “ghee abhishekam”. (UNI)