Amidst protests in Kerala against the Supreme Court verdict on Sabarimala Temple, its chief priest has expressed displeasure over the apex court's ruling that allowed women of all ages to enter the temple premises.
Kandararu Rajeevaru, the head priest, said that the court did not consider the age-old traditions and customs while delivering the verdict.
"The Supreme Court only cares about the law, it does not care about the customs and traditions. I stand by the old customs and tradition," he told ANI.
Urging the protestors to not take law in their hands, Rajeevaru said, "It is a panic situation, it has become very dangerous. Most of the devotees have become desperate after the Supreme Court verdict. It is my personal request, please respect the system and customs of the Sabarimala Temple. I do not support any form of violence."
He asserted that the people indulging in violent activities are not the followers of Lord Ayyappa, who is the deity of the Sabarimala Temple.
"Don't blame the devotees. It is not the devotees, who are creating all the violence," he said.
In the wake of violence and protests across Kerala, the Sabarimala Protection Committee has also called for a 12-hour statewide strike beginning Thursday morning
Angry agitators clashed with police, attacked women and journalists on Wednesday, ahead of re-opening of the Sabarimala Temple- the first time since the top court allowed women of all ages into the holy shrine of Lord Ayyappa.
Tension prevailed in the area as police also baton-charged stone pelting protestors at the Nikkal base camp, en route to the shrine. Similar incidents were also witnessed in Pamba, Sannidhanam, and Elavungal, the areas around the temple.
Section 144 (prohibits assembly of more than four people) has been imposed in Sannidhanam, Pamba, Nilakkal, and Elavungal, following incidents of violence.
While women above 50 years of age were seen entering the temple on Wednesday evening, women between 10 to 50 years of age refrained from visiting due to security concerns.