Now, Malikappuram temple priest alleges threats

Now, Malikappuram temple priest says he received threats
Anish Namboothiri, the melsanthi at the Malikappuram Devi Temple

Sabarimala: A senior priest (melsanthi) of the Malikappuram Devi Temple, which is in the vicinity of Sabarimala temple, has alleged in a police complaint that he received threats over phone and letter, Manorama News reported on Sunday.

Anish Namboothiri said that he could have been targetted as he had supported devotees protesting over women's entry to the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala.

The Maalikappuram Temple is located to the right of the Sabarimala main temple. It is named so as it is dedicated to Malikappurathamma.  

The priest's complaint comes a day after the ashram of Swami Sandeepananda Giri at Kundamonkadavu in Thiruvananthpauram was attacked early Saturday. The attack took place around 2 am and two cars and a scooter were burnt, the police said, adding the attackers also left a wreath at the ashram.

Swami, who was at the ashram when the incident took place, had welcomed the apex court order permitting women in the 10-50 age group to offer prayers at the Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala.

Condemning the attack, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who visited the ashram, told reporters that use of violence reveals the 'ideological abjectness' of the attackers.

Giri alleged that the responsibility for the attack was on BJP state president P S Sreedharan Pillai, Thazhamon Madom, which is the family of hereditary head priests of Sabarimala temple, and the Pandalam royal family, which is also associated with the shrine.

However, BJP district leadership denied any role in the attack and demanded an "unbiased" probe into the incident.

The saffron party also alleged that the CPM was behind the attack, which was carried out to divert attention from the Sabarimala protests. The state recently witnessed massive protests by devotees at various places, including Sabarimala, Nilakkal and Pamba, against the nod to women of all ages to enter the shrine.