Women at Sabarimala temple: govt orders probe

Thiruvananthapuram April 18: Even as social media buzz builds around a photograph that shows women apparently praying at the sanctum sanctorum of the Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala, the CPM-led Kerala government has intervened to check if the temple traditions were tampered with, Deecan Herald reported.
The photograph, widely shared on social media, shows women praying at the temple, in which the entry of women of the menstruating age is banned. The age of the women could not be verified from the photograph, which was reportedly taken on April 11.
T G Mohandas, convenor of the BJP’s intellectual cell, had posted the image on Twitter, captioned: “Hope these girls are above 50!”
Amid outrage over the violation of the temple’s traditions, many responded that the image was photoshopped. Some also said it was not taken at the Sabarimala temple.
While social media continued to debate on the location and the veracity of the image, allegations also emerged over VIP darshans at the temple, and Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran has initiated action.
The minister, who earlier had tiffs with the Travancore Devaswom Board that manages the administrative affairs of the temple, said the board’s vigilance and security wing has been directed to probe the matter.
“I’ve received complaints that the women had accompanied a Kollam-based businessman, who is learnt to have been arranging VIP darshans at the temple,” Surendran said. 
He said action would be taken against any attempt to influence authorities in obtaining special privileges at the temple.