The Madras High Court today directed the District Collector and the Superintendent of Police in Mayiladuthurai to provide police protection for the 'Pattina Pravesam' event at Dharmapuram Aadheenam.

A vacation Bench of Justice G R Swaminathan and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamurthy gave the direction while disposing of a writ petition today.

The PIL petition from city resident Raja Sivaprakasam prayed for a direction to the authorities concerned in Mayiladuthurai to provide adequate protection to the Dharmapuram Aadheenam Math and other Aadheenams in the state. It also prayed for protection for the 'Pattina Pravesam' to be conducted by the Dharmapuram Aadheenam on May 22 by preventing the anti-social elements from protesting against the customary and legal actions of the maths.

The bench by itself impleaded the Dharmapuram Aadheenam as a party-respondent in the petition and directed him to submit representations seeking protection to the Mayiladuthurai administrators.

The customary event known as 'Pattina Pravesam' involves the pontiff being carried on a palanquin in and around the math premises by devotees. The government had earlier banned the event before withdrawing it, in the face of stiff opposition to the move.

On April 27, the Mayilduthurai Revenue Divisional Officer had banned the event citing apprehensions over law and order scenario in the wake of opposition by rationalist outfit, the Dravidar Kazhagam and other like-minded outfits. The ban order also claimed that the event went against Article 23 of the Constitution that barred forced labour.

With PTI inputs