Prohibitory orders at Sabarimala till Dec. 12
Temple witnesses moderate rush on Saturday
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.
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.
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.