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Madras High Court Permits 20K Devotees For Karthigai Deepam Festival In Tiruvannamalai; No Entry Inside Temple

Sebin James
18 Nov 2021 11:52 AM GMT
Madras High Court Permits 20K Devotees For Karthigai Deepam Festival In Tiruvannamalai; No Entry Inside Temple
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Only 300 kattalaidars will be permitted inside the temple premises.

The Madras High Court has permitted the entry of 20,000 devotees in Tiruvannamalai city, in light of Karthigai Deepam festival on Friday, November 19, subject to the production of double vaccination certificates.Karthigai Deepam, known as the festival of lights, is usually celebrated in a span of three days. This year, on November 19, 'Mahadeepam' will be lighted, marking the most important...

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The Madras High Court has permitted the entry of 20,000 devotees in Tiruvannamalai city, in light of Karthigai Deepam festival on Friday, November 19, subject to the production of double vaccination certificates.

Karthigai Deepam, known as the festival of lights, is usually celebrated in a span of three days. This year, on November 19, 'Mahadeepam' will be lighted, marking the most important day of the festival.

The Bench of Acting Chief Justice M. Duraiswamy and Justice J. Sathya Narayana Prasad has made it clear that the devotees will not be permitted to enter the Annamalaiyar temple and that they can witness the festival from Girivalam (from the circumambulation of the holy mountain).

The court also warned that no one will be allowed by the District Administration and Police to take other routes and climb up the mountain to see the Deepam up close.

The development comes in a PIL filed by D Senthilkumar of the Hindu Makkal Katchi. 

Earlier, the State Government had taken a stand that only 13,000 devotees can be permitted in Girivalam (3000 locals from Tiruvannamalai District and 10000 devotees from other Districts and states). It was argued that such restrictions are necessary to adhere to the Covid-19 Protocol and contain its spread. Last year, only 5000 devotees were allowed to participate in the festival.

However, today Advocate General R. Shanmugasundaram submitted that 20,000 devotees (5000 from Tiruvannamalai district and 15,000 from other places) can be permitted for the circumambulation of the mountain for the next two days, i.e., 19th November and 20th November. However, no devotees will be allowed to stay in the city.

Further, only 300 kattalaidars will be permitted inside the temple premises. 

Permitting devotees inside the temple will prove to be a herculean task for the District administration as far as crowd control is concerned and the days to come are very crucial, the AG said.

Accordingly, the matter was disposed of.

"Copy of the order will be uploaded today itself after its dictated in the Chambers. The Order won't be applicable for today, it will be applicable only from tomorrow. The District Administration has to make arrangements to accommodate the people," the Court said.

During the hearing, the AG also highlighted before the court the practical difficulties in making arrangements on such short notice and the constraints in mustering the police force from other Districts.

He also informed the petitioner and the court that the Deepam will be live-streamed in all major channels which is an alternate option to watch the celebration.

Case Title: D. Senthilkumar v. The Chief Secretary And 4 Others.

Case No: WP/24748/2021 (PIL)

Click Here To Read/ Download Order



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