'Jaimala should be prosecuted on her statement'
Thiruvananthapuram, Jun 29: Kerala Devaswom Minister G Sudhakaran today opined that Kannada actress Jaimala should be prosecuted on the basis of her revelation that she had entered the sanctum sanctorum of the famed Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple.
''Since the controversy is related to the temple customs, the government is not going to take any action now and the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), which looks after the temple affairs, is the right authority to conduct a proper inquiry and subsequent action against her,'' he told sources.
Noting that the temple's sanctity should be protected, he said ''let the TDB conduct the preliminary inquiry and if the Board wants the government's interference, of course, we will not hesitate to take up the issue.'' It was also the government's duty to clear the confusion among devotees, he added.
The government could only interfere if any law and order situation arose out of the ongoing controversy, he pointed out.
''Though the actress had confessed that she had entered the temple and touched the Ayyappa idol, we have no proof for it,'' he said.
''Besides, till her claim, nobody had come up with such an allegation or a complaint against her of violating the temple rules and traditional customs,'' he added.
However, the disclosure could not be taken lightly as it had been made by the person herself, the Minister said.
Mr Sudhakaran suspected that some vested interests were behind the controversy to divert the devotees to other states from the Hill Shrine which was considered to be the largest pilgrim centre in Kerala. Every year crores of devotees from across the world visit the temple. A couple of days back, Kannada Actress Jaimala had disclosed that she and her husband had visited the temple in 1987 and touched the idol of Lord Ayyappa.
Soon after this, Supreme Priest of Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple, Kanteru Maheswaru Thantri had raised doubts on her disclosure and said there was ''some mystery'' behind it.
He also demanded an inquiry on how and with whose help she entered the temple, as there was no chance for a devotee, particularly a woman, to enter the sanctum sanctorum.
TDB Commissioner C G Sachidanandan and Board Member Punalur Madu had declared that the Board would take stock of the situation on July seven at its meeting.
According to tradition, women who had attained puberty and had not reached menopause were prohibited from entering the temple.
Recently in a 'devaprasnam' held at the temple, it was found women had entered the temple and the deity was dissatisfied with such incidents.
Noted film actress Sudha Chandran had also disclosed that about 20 years back she with three others had visited the temple.