The Pathanamthitta district collector late on Thursday extended orders prohibiting the assembly of four or more people for four more days in and around Sabarimala, PTI reported.
Section 144 was imposed at Sabarimala and its base camps on November 15, before the temple had opened for its two-month festival. The police had asked that prohibitory orders be in place until it closed on January 14.
However, the orders do not apply to devotees chanting mantras individually or in groups, Manorama quoted the collector’s order as saying.
The Kerala High Court on Thursday had said that pilgrims could not be stopped from moving in groups or chanting and singing songs near the temple. It said police could only act against those “breaching the peace”, while hearing pleas against the imposition of prohibitory orders.
The hill shrine opened on November 16 for the third time after the Supreme Court in September overturned a ban on the entry of women of menstruating age to the temple. So far, protesting devotees have not allowed women between the ages of 10 and 50 to enter the shrine.
House of woman attacked
The home of a woman backing the entry of other women to the temple was attacked on Thursday. Assailants pelted stones at her home in Kozhikode, injuring her 13-year-old daughter, The News Minute reported. “There’s no need for any doubt on who is behind this attack,” Aparna Sivakaami told the news website. “It is clear that those who oppose my views on Sabarimala are behind this.”
On Monday, Aparnaa spoke at a press conference, supporting three other women who had said they wanted to visit the Sabarimala shrine. She said that she has also received a lot of hate messages following the press conference.