The Pandalam Palace managing committee president, P.G. Sasikumar Varma, said on Sunday that there was every reason to suspect a high-level conspiracy behind the move made by the workers attached to the ‘Manithi’ forum of progressive women from Chennai to visit Sabarimala. Mr. Varma said there were also reports that certain members of the Manithi team reached Sabarimala had extremist links.
Mr. Varma said the Tantri was the last word on ritualistic matters concerning all Hindu temples in the State and the Sabarimala Tantri knew well on what to do in the event of violation of ritualistic practices at the Ayyappa temple. Mr. Varma said the Pandalam Palace, being the original owner of the Ayyappa temple, was firm in its commitment to protect the custom at Sabarimala.
Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran said the three-member committee comprising two former High Court judges and a serving Additional Director General of Police, were supposed to take a decision on the matter concerning the protests against the Sabarimala-bound Manithi women’s team, who were blocked by the Sabarimala Karma Samiti workers on Sunday. The Minister said he did not know whether the members of the Manithi women’s team were Ayyappa devotees. The panel appointed by the court too failed to take a clear-cut stand on the issue.
There were also reports that the three-member panel appointed by the Court had clarified that the law and order maintenance was the job of the police and the committee had little role in it.