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The Kerala government has ordered an inquiry into photographs circulating on social media, purportedly showing some women in the Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa Temple despite a ban on their entry. Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran directed the Devaswom Vigilance to initiate a probe and find out the veracity of the photographs. There are restrictions on the entry of women between 10- 50 years of age in the hillock shrine, where the presiding deity, Lord Ayyappa is considered as a 'naishtika brahmachari' (perennial celibate) by devotees. The minister said he had received a complaint that a Kollam-based businessman had got special privileges for conducting darshan at the shrine, located in Pathanamthitta district. "As per the complaint, some women of banned age group had allegedly visited the shrine along with him.
There are no restrictions for women to offer worship at Sabarimala, adhering to the tradition of age limit," Surendran said. It is illegal if anyone has tried to gain any favours in the name of VIP darshan, he said, adding that action would be taken to stop such practises.
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