Prohibitory or­ders at Sabari­mala till Dec. 12

Tem­ple wit­nesses mod­er­ate rush on Satur­day

The Hindu - - SOUTH - Spe­cial Cor­re­spon­dent

The prohibitory or­ders clamped on Sabari­mala, Pampa, Ni­lackal and Elavumkal, un­der Sec­tion 144 of the Code of Crim­i­nal Pro­ce­dure, has been ex­tended by four more days to De­cem­ber 12 mid­night, ac­cord­ing to Dis­trict Col­lec­tor P.B. Noohu.

The Col­lec­tor, in his ca­pac­ity as Dis­trict Magistrate, has ex­tended the prohibitory or­ders by four more days on the ba­sis of re­ports re­ceived in this re­gard from the Dis­trict Po­lice Chief and the Ad­di­tional Dis­trict Magistrate. The ban pe­riod, ex­tended by four days ear­lier on De­cem­ber 4, was to end on Satur­day mid­night.

These places had wit­nessed large-scale protests against the at­tempts made by a dozen young women to en­ter the Ayyappa tem­ple against the back­drop of the Supreme Court ver­dict of Septem­ber 28 per­mit­ting en­try for women of all ages to Sabari­mala.

Tourist in­ter­est

The Ayyappa tem­ple wit­nessed mod­er­ate rush on Satur­day, as a good num­ber of pil­grims utilised the week­end hol­i­days for un­der­tak­ing their an­nual pil­grim­age. Ac­cord­ing to po­lice sources, as many as 62,000 have crossed the po­lice check­post at Pampa to trek the holy hills by 3 p.m. on Satur­day.

“There ap­pears to be an emerg­ing tourist in­ter­est over the lo­ca­tion, which has wit­nessed bouts of protests re­cently in con­nec­tion with the Sabari­mala is­sue. We have been re­ceiv­ing sev­eral in­quiries from for­eign tourists, who ar­rive in groups en route to Ku­mily or Mun­nar, to look around the town and even par­tic­i­pate in the rit­u­als,” pointed out S. Mad­hu­soodanan, Deputy Su­per­in­ten­dent of Po­lice, Kan­ji­rap­pally.

Mostly Eu­ro­peans

A rough es­ti­mate by the po­lice has pegged the daily av­er­age num­ber of for­eign­ers vis­it­ing the town since last week at be­tween 100 and 150.

Ac­cord­ing to Mr. Madu­soodanan, tourists who drop in at Erumely, lo­cated on the eastern out­skirts of the dis­trict, are mostly Eu­ro­peans.

“Ear­lier this week, two groups from Ger­many and Switzer­land even joined us in the clean-up pro­gramme Pun­yam Poon­ga­vanam.”

Spir­i­tual ex­pe­ri­ence: A group of for­eign tourists wear­ing crowns set to per­form the Pet­tah Thul­lal dance in Erumely.

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