Sabarimala Ayyappa temple to open on Oct 16 for ‘Thula masam’ poojas

Kerala HC seeks report on ‘halal-certified’ jaggery at Sabarimala temple

India News

The Kerala High Court Wednesday sought a report from the Sabarimala temple’s managing body after a petition alleged that “halal-certified” jaggery was being used in the preparation of its prasada.

The Division Bench of Justices Anil K Narendran and P G Ajithumar directed the Travancore Devaswom Board secretary, its commissioner and the special commissioner at Sabarimala to submit a report on the quality of the temple’s jaggery.

S J R Kumar, general convener of the pro-BJP Sabarimala Action Committee, claimed that the temple administration was using “spoiled” Halal-certified jaggery powder at Sabarimala.

“It is highly disheartening to see that the food materials prepared following the rituals and religious practices of another religion with its certification is accepted as food material for the preparation of Naivedyam/Prasada in a Hindu temple having its own rituals and customs,’’ said the petition.

The petitioner, a former president of state unit of VHP, even claimed that “Muslim religious scholars have been proclaiming publicly that saliva is a necessary ingredient for certifying halal in the preparation of food materials”.

Travancore Devaswom Board chief and senior CPI(M) leader K Ananthagopan dismissed the allegations. “In 2018, a Maharashtra-based company supplied jaggery for Sabarimala. The firm was engaged in exporting jaggery and these export bags mentioned halal certification. As those bags were found to be of inferior quality, we hadn’t used that supply at the temple. The allegation is baseless and we will take legal action,’’ he said.

The court asked the temple officials to submit a report on the issue.

Meanwhile, the annual pilgrimage at the temple began on Tuesday.

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