Pathanamthitta: District collector PB Nooh on Saturday extended the prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in and around Sabarimala till the midnight of December 12.

Section 144, which prohibits the gathering of over four people in an area, is in place in Nilakkal, Eluvankal, Sannidhanam, Pamba and Sabarimala.

According to reports, the police had earlier written to the Pathanamthitta district collector requesting him to impose the prohibitory orders untill January 14, till the pilgrimage season ends. The police had also cited the law and order issues and the numerous protests that erupted in various parts of Sabarimala after the Supreme Court's decision allowing women of all ages to enter the temple.

The state police on Saturday arrested Kerala BJP vice-president N Shivarajan and other leaders for violating the prohibitory orders at Nilakkal near Sabarimala. Numerous groups are protesting against Section 144 in Sabarimala, including BJP leader AN Radhakrishnan, who is on a hunger strike.

The reports also said that three UDF leaders are also on hunger strike demanding  the withdrawal of Section 144. On November 27, the UDF announced that they would continue to protest within and outside the Assembly until Section 144 is lifted.

However, the Kerala high court, on November 27, passed an order allowing Section 144 in Sabarimala, for not letting the temple to become a site to protest and hold dharnas, while devotees chant mantras.