Pathanamthitta: The Pathanamthitta district collector PB Nooh on Sunday extended prohibitory orders existing from Elavunkal till Sabarimala till December 18 midnight. 

Following the order, people have been prohibited from gathering unlawfully, holding public meetings or demonstrations and blocking pathways.

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Devotees travelling for the sake of darshan and their vehicles have been excluded from prohibitory orders. Devotees can also arrive in groups, they will not be restricted. The orders do not apply to devotees chanting mantras individually or in groups also.

On Sunday, the Erumely police had blocked a group of four transgenders who attempted to enter the shrine. According to reports, the group was asked to leave Sabarimala and go to Kottayam under police protection.

The four transgenders have been identified as Trupthi, Ananya, Avanthika and Ranjumol who are said to be from Kottayam and Ernakulam. The four also alleged that they had maintained the required fast and were carrying the irumudikettu (holy offerings Ayyappa devotees carry).

Recently, on December 14, a 30-year-old transgender who was identified as Mohan from Tamil Nadu was sent back from Sannidhanam even after producing the required documents to prove Mohan was a transgender. Nonetheless, the Devaswom Board president, A Padmakumar said that he does not know whether it will be against the rituals but stated that the board will accept whatever initiatives the police take.

Earlier around 15 women under the age 50 tried to enter the Sabarimala temple, but none of them reached the Sannidhanam. Most of them returned following the protest of devotees.

The Supreme Court verdict on September 28 allowing the entry of women of all age groups into Kerala’s Sabarimala temple had made the famous shrine a battlefield.  Women of all ages should be allowed in Kerala's renowned Sabarimala temple, the Supreme Court ordered, ending the age-old ban.