A day after photos of young women devotees visiting Sabarimala went viral, the Kerala government has ordered a probe. The Devaswom ministry, following the orders of minister Kadakampally Surendran, has asked the vigilance wing to probe the matter. Verifying the authenticity of the photographs is the first concern of the probe. The photographs purportedly showing women of ‘mensurating age’ at the hill shrine had created a controversy on social media.
The temple restricts entry to women between the age of 10 and 50 into the shrine but the photographs claiming to show young women inside the temple caused a stir. Minister Kadakampally Surendran said that he had received a complaint that a Kollam-based businessman managed to get special privileges for the ‘darshan’ at the shrine. “According to the complaint we have received, the businessman accompanied by the young women visited the temple. Action will be taken against anyone who misused privileges under the VIP darshan category if found illegal,” the minister said.
The controversial photographs were shared widely on social media with many questioning if entry into the temple was limited only to the rich and influential even as the debate on Sabarimala entry to women rages on. The President of the Devaswom Board, Prayar Gopalakrishnan, said the decision to probe the incident was welcome. “After hearing reports about the entry of young women into Sabarimala temple, I have personally inquired with police officials stationed there. I was told that two women, aged 61 and 62, had gone up to the hill shrine,” he said