Thaipusam: Devotees not allowed to accompany chariot throughout its journey to Batu Caves and back, says ministry

PUTRAJAYA: Strict standard operating procedures have been developed for the movement of the chariot carrying the statue of Lord Muruga in conjunction with Thaipusam, says the National Unity Ministry.

Among others, the SOP spells out the movement of the chariot is to start at 3am on Jan 27 (Wednesday) and is to return to its original temple namely the Sri Maha Mariamman temple at 3am on Jan 29.

“Devotees are not to follow or accompany the movement of the chariot throughout its journey to Batu Caves and back.

“The chariot is also not to make stops at any location throughout its journey to Batu Caves and back, ” said the ministry in a statement on Tuesday (Jan 26).

It also said that the temple management is to coordinate with the Police and City Hall on traffic control and other safety aspects.

“The National Unity Ministry will monitor the movement of the chariot according to its powers as stated under Act 342, to ensure that all SOPs are adhered to, ” it said.

The National Security Council special meeting on Jan 18, had decided that Thaipusam celebrations for this year will not be allowed to be held at any temples.

Following this decision, the Sri Maha Mariamman temple management had made a special application to bring the chariot to the Sri Subramaniam temple in Batu Caves and back.

The NSC had approved the application and stipulated SOPs that need to be followed by those involved.

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