Sabarimala Ayyappa temple chief priest threatens to shut doors

Chennai: A storm is brewing in Kerala and this time it has nothing to do with Nature. With the Ayyappa temple set to open this evening for special poojas, the issue of women of menstrual age entering the temple has risen again.

According to early reports, the Melsanthi (the high priest) has threatened to shut the temple doors if the any woman of menstrual age visits the temple.

He said this when IG Ajithkumar met him this morning to understand his stand on the issue.

In a related development, for the first time in the history of the temple, 15 women police personnel, all above 50 years of age, have been stationed at sannidhanam (sanctum sanctorum) in case women devotees of menstrual age decide to visit the temple.

There is a tense situation at the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple as it opens for special pooja this evening, at the beginning of the pilgrimage season.

The Supreme Court verdict allowing women of menstrual age to pray at the temple has led to a confrontation between women who want to visit the temple and those opposed to it, including Ayyappa devotees and priests.

NT Bureau