News website reports on half-naked girls in Madurai temple, gets threat calls
In a bizarre custom reported from Tamil Nadu, minor girls are made to stay bare-chested for a fortnight at Yezhaikatha Amman temple in Madurai.
The editor-in-chief of Coimbatore-based news website, who reported the incident, has complained that she has been receiving threatening calls ever since the story was published, reports Hindustan Times.
She has lodged a formal complaint with the Coimbatore police, giving all the phone numbers from where she received the threatening calls.
The website ran a story on the ritual in which 'half-naked' teenaged and younger girls are forced to live inside a temple under the supervision of a priest.
However, an official team, which inspected the temple ritual in the wake of a news story, advised the girls to cover their shoulders with a shawl. The team found that it was an ancient tradition but there was no evidence of sexual abuse or harassment inside the temple.
A temple in Vellalur village of Madurai district follows this ancient tradition where the priest selects seven girls between ages of 10 and 14 to live in the temple for a fortnight. The girls are forced to remain bare-chested and cover their upper body only with jewellery and flowers.
According to the temple's tradition, the priest selected the seven girls and 'offered' them to the deity for a fortnight beginning the last Tuesday in the Tamil month of Aavani.