At Sabarimala, RSS Man Leading Protests, Allegedly Breaks Tradition

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RSS leader Valsan Thillankeri on Sabarimala holy steps without the ritual kit on his head

Sabarimala, Kerala:

On a day when around 200 protesting devotees surrounded a woman and clapped and chanted 'Ayyappa saranam', to prevent her from entering the Sabarimala shrine, suspecting her to be of menstrual age, a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader allegedly violated key traditions at the Sannidhanam or the inner courtyard of the temple.

Valsan Thillankeri of the RSS, who is representing the protesting devotees at Sabarimala, was seen standing on the holy 18 steps without the Idumudi Kettu or the ritual offerings on his head, which is mandatory for all devotes – young and old – seeking darshan of Lord Ayyappa. Valsan Thillankeri also allegedly climbed down the holy steps, which is against the tradition.

A devotee is only supposed to climb up the 18 steps with the an Irumudi Kettu on his head.

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The RSS leader's actions did not go unnoticed amid unprecedented vigil at Sabarimala, to stop women between 10 and 50, from entering the temple on grounds of faith and custom.

Reports suggest that the police also held discussions with Valsan Thillankeri before Lalitha, 52, was allowed for puja. After the puja Lalitha felt uneasy, reported news agency PTI and she had to be given medical help.

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