Audio row: Sabarimala chief priest refutes Kerala BJP president’s claim

Pathanamthitta: Chief priest of the Sabarimala Temple, Kandararu Rajeevaru on Monday denied consulting Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Kerala unit chief P S Sreedharan Pillai before taking a call on shutting the doors of the Lord Ayyappa’s shrine if women in the menstruating age entered its sanctum sanctorum.

“I only discussed that (closing the temple if women in the menstruating age come to sanctum sanctorum) matter with my family members. I did not discuss anything with the BJP chief of Kerala. I have nothing more to add to it,” Rajeevaru told the media here.

In a purported audio clip, Pillai claimed of being in touch with Sabarimala priests before they warned police officials of closing the Sabarimala Temple if women enter the temple premises last month.

However, Pillai defended himself and told ANI, “So what? I am a lawyer also, he (Rajeevaru) had taken a legal opinion from me. Many CPM Ministers have also taken opinion from me and I have fought cases.”

The Sabarimala Temple was reopened for two days amidst heavy security deployment today evening.
The police officials said around 1,500 personnel are deployed in Pamba and Sannidhanam for maintenance of law and order.

“We have made adequate security arrangements for facilitating ‘darshan’ of all devotees. We have various threats in this area, taking into consideration various threat perceptions, we’ve provided security arrangements for everyone,” IG Ajith Kumar, security in-charge of Sabarimala told ANI.

The temple opened for the second time after the Supreme Court allowed women of all ages to enter the shrine.

According to police officials, no women devotee approached them for assistance in facilitating their entry in Sabarimala Temple.