Sabarimala verdict: Temple board invites all stakeholders for meeting as protests continue

The meeting will be held at the Devaswom board office in Trivandrum.

Sabarimala verdict: Temple board invites all stakeholders for meeting as protests continue

Thiruvananthapuram: Travancore Devaswom Board, a temple body which manages the Lord Ayyappa shrine in Kerala, has invited various stakeholders for a meeting to discuss 'various aspects', including preparations for the annual pilgrimage season which begins next month.

According to ANI, the board has extended its invitation to the representatives of Pandalam Royal Family, Sabarimala temple priests and their organisation and Hindu organisations for a meeting on Tuesday.

The meeting will be held at Devaswom board office in Trivandrum, said TDB president A Padmakumar.

The meeting assumes significance as various Hindu outfits and Lord Ayyappa devotees continue to protests against the implementation of the recent Supreme Court order, permitting women of all age groups into the shrine.

By inviting the stakeholders for talks, the board appears t be trying to build a consensus on the issue.

The Travancore Devaswom Board has invited tantries (temple priests), Pandalam royals and devotee groups to the meeting.

Besides the Tazhamon tantri family and the Pandalam royals, various stakeholders of the Sabarimala shrine, including Ayyappa Seva Sangam, Ayyappa Seva Samajam, tantri mahamandalam and Yoga Kshema Sabah have been invited for the talks, he said.

The members of the Padalam royal family and tazhamon tantries have not yet confirmed whether they will attend the TDB meet or not.

The three-month-long annual 'Mandalam-Makaravilakku' pilgrimage season of the Sabarimala Temple will begin on November 17.

Meanwhile, various devotee groups and Hindu outfits took out protest marches in different places across the state on Sunday, demanding that the sanctity of the temple rituals be protected.

The BJP-led NDA's 'Long March', which started last week from Pandalam in protest against the CPI(M)-led LDF government's decision to implement the top court order without going for a review, reached the capital city on Sunday.

Actor-turned-MP Suresh Gopi flagged off the rally at Alamkode.

The march, which criss-crossed the southern districts of the state, would conclude before the state Secretariat, the administrative hub, on Monday.

Hundreds of activists of Antarashtriya Hindu Parishad (AHP) also took out a rally here, urging the state and union governments to address the concerns of devotees of Lord Ayyappa.

AHP president Pravin Togadia called for a hartal in the state on October 18 if the Left government implements the apex court order.

"We demand that the state government file a review petition in the Supreme Court. Till that petition is pending, they should not implement the court order," he said addressing the rally.

A group of Yuva Morcha activists took out a march to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's residence at northern Kannur district.

Police blocked the agitators by putting up barricades a few kilometers away from the residence.

On September 28, a five-judge Constitution bench, headed by the then chief justice Dipak Misra, lifted the ban on the entry of women of menstrual age into the shrine.