Chania

10 Ayyappa pilgrims from Medak killed in Road Accident At Tamil Nadu

leven pilgrims who were returning from Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple on Sunday (January 6) lost their lives after the van they were travelling in collided with a truck.

The accident took place near Thirumayam in Pudukkottai district of Tamil Nadu.

While seven pilgrims died on the spot, four others succumbed to their injuries at the hospital.

According to the police, the pilgrims, who hailed from Andhra Pradesh, have now been identified.

"The incident happened at around 3 pm when the tempo in which the Sabarimala pilgrims were travelling from Karaikudi to Pudukottai collided with a truck that was coming from the opposite direction," a police officer said.

The truck occupied the right-side of the divider-less, narrow road leading to the collision, he said, while adding that an investigation is going on.

The bodies have been sent for autopsy. The injured have been admitted at the Pudukottai government hospital.

It comes amid the tensions surrounding the Sabarimala temple over Sumpreme Court's verdict to allow women inside. The area has been on the edge of violence since women managed to enter the sanctum sanctorum at Sabarimala.

Their entry into the shrine came three months after the Supreme Court's historic judgment lifting the ban on the entry of girls and women between 10 to 50 years of age into the hilltop shrine of Lord Ayyappa -- the eternally celibate deity.

Despite the court's ruling, which came on September 28 last year, no one from the 'barred' age group was able to offer prayers at the shrine because of frenzied protests by devotees and right-wing outfits.

Violence erupted across Kerala on Friday (January 5) night with bombs which were hurled at the house of Thalassery MLA and CPI(M) leader AN Shamseer and BJP MP V Muraleedharan, among other places.

Bombs were also hurled at CPI(M) leader and former Kannur district secretary of CPI(M) P Sasi's house at Thalassery and a CPI(M) activist Vishak attacked at Iritty, a place in Kannur district.

Police have arrested at least 20 people in connection with the violence at Kannur district.

In another development, prohibitory orders have been issued at Pandalam, Adoor and Kodumon police station areas in Pathanamthitta district for seven days.
Chania

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