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Kerala: Chaos Continues At Sabarimala Temple Amid Massive Footfall, HC Directs Govt To Take Care Of Pilgrims

In light of the chaotic situation at Sabarimala Temple owing to the heavy rush of pilgrims, several devotees hailing from places like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Thrissur, Kozhikode and Malappuram, have called off their trip and returned home.

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Devotees of Lord Ayyappan at Sabarimala Temple in Kerala
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Kerala's Sabarimala Shrine, the Hindu temple famously devoted to Lord Ayyappan, has witnessed massive footfall this year, while pilgrims widely complained about the lack of basic amenities and safety measures expected to be in place for them.

In light of the chaotic situation at Sabarimala owing to the heavy rush of pilgrims, several devotees hailing from places like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Thrissur, Kozhikode and Malappuram, have called off their trip and returned home.

According to local media reports, the traffic jam that began on the morning of December 8 affected Pampa, Nilakkal and Sannidhanam for four days.

Chaos at Sabarimala temple

As per media reports, visitors this year were reportedly made to wait for hours after police blocked vehicles. It has been told that the Sabarimala pilgrims on Tuesday blocked the road at Erumeli and staged a protest against authorities’ decision not to allow them into Pampa.

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This was followed by the break out of an altercation between the devotees and the police at Ettumanoor Mahadeva temple as hundreds of pilgrims were stopped from proceeding to Sabarimala despite waiting for hours.

Keral HC directs govt to support pilgrims

Taking cognisance of the chaotic situation, Kerala High Court on Tuesday directed the authorities to ensure support to the Sabarimala pilgrims who reach the shrine.

Moreover, the division bench of Justice Anil Narendran and G Girish also directed the state police to ensure that the rush to the hilltop shrine was under control.

The court asked the police not to allow overcrowding of devotees in the queue complex and keep it clean every day.

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“The Travancore Devaswom Board shall consider whether the pilgrims can be provided with drinking water and biscuits at such locations through NSS volunteers in educational institutions or with the assistance of the concerned Local Self Government Institutions,” the court said.

The high court also said that the Devaswom Board shall deploy a sufficient number of security personnel/employees on each parking ground to ensure maximum parking of vehicles can be done. The court also said that more facilities should be arranged at the shrine for pilgrims, including children. ADGP (Law and Order) M R Ajit Kumar appeared before the court and explained the facilities provided there.

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