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Tuesday 20 Nov 2018 02.26 PM

Opposition leaders on way to Sabarimala briefly blocked by police

Sabarimala, Opposition

Nilackal : Opposition Congress-led UDF workers staged a protest here Tuesday demanding withdrawal of prohibitory orders in force in and around Sabarimala as police briefly stopped them from accompanying a delegation of their leaders to the Lord Ayyappa shrine to inspect facilities for devotees. Police initially said they cannot be allowed to visit the Lord Ayyappa temple in such large numbers in view of the prohibitory orders, but later permitted them.

The hill shrine, located about 20 kms away from here, has been witnessing intense protests by devotees against the implementation of the Supreme Court verdict permitting women of all age groups to offer prayers. The government has clamped prohibitory orders under section 144 of CrPc banning assembly of four or more people in Sabarimala and surrounding areas in view of the protests.

The UDF delegation was heading to the hill shrine to take stock of the facilities amid reports that proper arrangements had not been made for the pilgrims, who will throng the temple during the ongoing two-month annual season. The nine-member delegation demanded that all the party workers accompanying them should be allowed to visit the temple while police said only senior leaders would be permitted in view of the prohibitory orders in place. PTI

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