Sabarimala priest, royal family moved review petition against SC order allowing women into temple

Women chant hymns during a protest called by various Hindu organisations against the lifting of ban by Supreme Court that allowed entry of women of menstruating age to the Sabarimala temple, on the outskirts of Kochi, India, October 7, 2018. REUTERS/Sivaram V

NEW DELHI: Several Hindu organisations in Kerala moved the Supreme Court on Monday with review petitions against the earlier verdict of the apex court. It is a setback to the Kerala government’s efforts when Sabarimala temple, the thantri (priest) and erstwhile royal family of Pandalam on Sunday pulled out of the proposed discussions with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on the top court verdict allowing women inside the historical Sabarimala temple.

The Nair Service Society, Pandalam royal family, tantri or the chief priest of the hill shrine and National Ayyappa Devotees Association moved the top court challenging its September 28 verdict lifting the centuries-old ban on women of menstruating age from entering the temple.

Meanwhile, R R Varma, representative of the erstwhile royal family of Pandalam, said the family wanted to protect the age-old traditions at the temple and was not interested in a discussion aimed at reaching a consensus on implementing the SC’s order.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have called a meeting in Kochi to chalk out their protest programmes. State BJP president P S Sreedharan Pillai said the party would not backtrack from its decision to protect the faith, even at the cost of a bloodbath.

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