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HC issues directions on spraying of water during Chithirai festival

INDHC issues directions on spraying of water during Chithirai festival


Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Monday made it clear that devotees are permitted to spray water on Lord Kallazhagar during His entry into the Vaigai river and the procession by using leather (goatskin) bags by using the traditional method alone.

A Division Bench of Justices R. Suresh Kumar and G. Arul Murugan observed that water should be sprayed by using the force of the hand alone and no power pump using battery or mechanised system should be used. If any devotee was found using such a pump, police can seize it.

The police must also ensure that only pure water was used. No coloured water or water mixed with any materials like chemicals, milk or curd should be permitted. Police must ensure that water is not sprayed on children and elders.

Action can also be taken against those who spray ‘excessive water’ on ‘targeted devotee or crowd.’ The Commissioner of Police must ensure that adequate police force was deployed for the event.

The court was told that on the northern and southern banks of Vaigai river, stairs have been constructed for public use. Using it, the public can enter the Vaigai river from where they can witness the event conveniently. Medical facilities and medical camps and fire tenders have been deployed. Drinking water facilities have been provided, the court was told.

A total of 2,000 passes under various categories including VIPs and an additional 400 badges have been issued. The court directed the authorities to ensure that the 2,400 people alone were permitted to enter the reserved enclosure where Lord Kallazhagar will enter the river. The court issued the directions while disposing of public interest litigation petitions pertaining to the Chithirai festival.



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