‘Protesters’ can’t accompany Thiruvabharanam

Order issued by Pathanamthitta District Police Chief kicks up a controversy

An order issued by the District Police Chief (DPC) here on Thursday prohibiting those who had actively participated in the protests against the Supreme Court verdict permitting women of all age groups to Sabarimala from taking part in the Thiruvabharanam procession has kicked up a controversy.

With this, certain representatives of the Pandalam Palace who had participated in the Namajapom procession, protesting against the SC verdict, will find it difficult to escort the Thiruvabharanam procession. The procession carrying the Thiruvabharanam for the Makaravilakku will set off from the Pandalam Valiyakoickal Sastha temple on Saturday.

The DPC’s order prohibits those who were implicated in various cases registered by the police in connection with the Sabarimala women’s entry issue from taking part in the procession. The order has been handed over to the Travancore Devaswom Board.

Royal representative

The royal representative to escort to the procession, Raghava Varma, too had participated in the Ayyappa Jyoti organised by the Sabarimala Karma Samithi against the SC order.

The practice

For the past several decades, not less than 1,000 pilgrims used to accompany the Thiruvabharanam from Pandalam and surrounding areas all the way to Sabarimala.

As many as 5,000 devotees, many of them from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, had accompanied the procession last year, says Ayyappa Seva Sanghom leader D. Vijayakumar.

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