Row over limit on fish, meat stalls in Sabarimala

Row over restriction on fish and meat stalls during Sabarimala procession

PTI file photo

A restriction imposed on meat and fish stalls enroute Sabarimala Ayyappa temple during the procession carrying the sacred ornaments (Thiruvabharanam) of the presiding deity, lord Ayyappa, has triggered a row.

While a section flayed the decision, various Hindu outfits defended it alleging deliberate attempts to impurify the procession stretch with meat waste.

The Vadserikara grama panchayat in Pathanamthitta district that issued the directive alleged that an unnecessary controversy was being triggered by certain quarters with vested communal interests.

According to the panchayat president Shaji Manappallil of the Congress, the directive was part of the routine procedure being followed over the last few years after a devotee complained of poultry waste on the Pamba river at Vadasserikara, about 30 kilometres from Sabarimala. Over the last couple of year such a directive was being issued. Unfortunately, it was now being made controversy and hence ulterior motives could be suspected.

The directive issued by the panchyat secretary on January 6 said that all meat, chicken and fish stalls at Vadaserikkara grama panchayat may remain closed on January 13 and 14 as the 'Thiruvabharanam procession' would be passing through the panchayat on these days.

While a section flayed that such a directive contradicted with the Kerala government's progressive stands, certain Hindu outfits alleged that there were deliberate attempts to give communal colour to the directive. They also allege that poultry waste was deliberately dumped on the stretch recently also.

The state government has sought and explanation from the panchayat secretary on the matter.

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