TIRUVANNAMALAI: Images of actress Sanchita Shetty at Annamalaiyar hills have stirred controversy as devotees have been prohibited from climbing the hill owing to pandemic restrictions.
Photos in the tagged section of her Instagram page showed Sanchita on top of the 2668-feet-tall hill performing Maha Deepam dharshan. The photos had been uploaded three days earlier.
While climbing the hill has been prohibited throughout the year, public are usually given special permission to climb the hill on the day of Maha Deepam.
However, the Tiruvannamalai district administration had prohibited the ritual this year due to the pandemic.
"We are holding an inquiry into the issue. It is not yet clear when she climbed the hill and we did not receive any request from the person concerned for climbing the hill," R Kirubashankar, District Forest Officer (DFO), told The New Indian Express. The DFO stressed that climbing the hill is strictly prohibited and will attract penalties.
Maha Deepam, a major event that marks the culmination of the 10-day annual Karthigai Deepam festival, was lit on the hill on November 29 (Sunday) this year. As part of the celebrations, the deepam is kept burning for the next 10 days.