Kerala High Court accepts observers’ suggestions to ease curbs in Sabarimala

The court also lifted the restriction blocking pilgrims at Saramkuthy after 11 pm when the temple closes.

Published: 13th December 2018 02:20 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th December 2018 01:49 PM   |  A+A-

An Ayyappa devotee offering prayers in front of a young devotee at Sannidhanam | Shaji Vettipuram

By Express News Service

KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Wednesday relaxed some of the restrictions imposed by the state police in Sannidhanam and directed the state police chief to implement the suggestion of the team of observers to remove the barricades in front of Vavar Nada, Mahakanikka and Lower Thirumuttom. The court also lifted the restriction blocking pilgrims at Saramkuthy after 11 pm when the temple closes. The court directed the state police chief to implement the suggestions in letter and spirit giving an appropriate directive to the police officer deployed in Sabarimala.

A Division Bench comprising Justice P R Ramachandra Menon and Justice N Anilkumar issued the order considering the report submitted by the team of observers, including Justice P R Raman, Justice S Sirijagan and DGP Hemachandran. The court made it clear the earlier order granting liberty to the police with regard to the law and order situation and there should not be any protest in Sabarimala will remain intact.

ALSO READ | Sabarimala situation has changed, says High Court

The report stated the number of devotees has considerably increased and the situation is nearing normalcy. The development was pursuant to the order of the High Court deleting the restrictions imposed by the police except for maintaining law and order. In the present situation, some more relaxations can be made and the observers had an elaborate discussion in the meeting with the Chief Police Coordinator. The police appraised the team these restrictions issued were not based on any written order. 

According to observers, at present, to reach Vavar Nada there are no openings through barricades at Lower Thirumuttam. It suggested the police officers to remove one of the barricades in front of the Vavar Nada so there will be two openings for easy ingress and egress to Vavar Nada, Appam Aravana counter and Mahakanikka.

It also suggested the police should make an opening in the barricades of the Lower Thirumuttam at least from 3 am to 11.30 am for the time being so as to enable pilgrims to untie their irumudikettu and make preparations to break the coconuts filled with ghee and to make preparations for neyyabhishekam. The observers pointed out such restrictions may lead to severe congestion affecting even the safety of pilgrims when the inflow of pilgrims to Sannidhanam increases.

Prohibitory orders extended to Dec 16
Sabarimala: Prohibitory orders were extended at Sannidhanam, Pampa, Nilakkal and Elavunkal on Wednesday for four more days till December 16. Citing the prevailing chances of violence and threat to the peaceful atmosphere to the ongoing pilgrimage, the district magistrate issued the prohibitory order for four days on the basis of the report of the district superintendent of police, additional district magistrate and executive magistrate of Nilakkal.

Ayyappa jyothi programme on Dec 26  
Kochi: A meeting of Hindu religious leaders, convened by the Sabarimala Karma Samithi, decided to organise programmes across the state, from Parasala to Manjeswaram, to light ‘Ayyappa jyothi’ on December 26, the concluding day of the Mandala pooja. The programme aims to express the sentiment of the community against attempts to destroy the sanctity of Sabarimala temple.

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