Going back on his earlier stand, Sabarimala temple tantri Kandararu Rajeevaru has said the purification rituals conducted at the shrine were not because of the entry of two young women as being claimed.
This was a 'baseless' allegation, and the rituals were conducted only to restore the 'grace’ of the deity after controversies during the Chithirattta celebrations and the Mandala-Makaravilaku festival.
The Travancore Devaswom Board had sought an explanation from the tantri, following the entry of two young women to Sabarimala on January 2. It was seen as an act of contempt of court. The apex court on September 28 ruled that women of all age groups could worship at the shrine.
In his 11-page reply to the board, which is unlikely to be taken up at the meeting today, the tantri said that after closure of the temple on December 31, there was a huge crowd the next day. Hence, it was decided to hold the rituals the next day to restore the deity's grace. He added that the rituals had nothing to do with young women entry.
This runs contradictory to his earlier claim that the temple would be closed if young women entered and purification rituals would be held.
In his explanation, the tantri claimed that the devaswom officials, including the TDB president, were informed in advance about the ritual.
He claimed that when purification of the idol was being conducted the door of the sanctum sanctorum was not closed fully.
About the rights of the Thazhamon family, he said there were inherited and he was not appointed by the devaswom.