Hawkers take over jungle paths

The jungle paths from Pamba to the Sabarimala shrine are now dotted with wayside vendors and hawkers who are fleecing the pilgrims in gross violation of the High Court order banning unauthorized hawkers along these roads.
As per the court order, only those with licenced from the Devaswam can open shops and conduct business here.
However, vendors, mostly from Tamil Nadu, Andhra and Orissa, are doing brisk business, selling toys, ornaments and herbal drugs on the stretch between Pampa and Marakkottam on the Swamy Ayyappan road.
Authorized shop owners allege that police officials are turning a blind eye to these hawkers who grease their palms.
Namesake raids are conducted at regular intervals, they allege.
“These hawkers run into the jungles with their wares when police come and return to resume business after ensuring that police have left. There is a nexus between police and these vendors,” says a licensed shop owner, Sajeevan.
Interestingly, police is conspicious by its absence along this route. Infiltration of migrant hawkers also exposes holes in the security along these jungle routes to Pampa and Sannidanam, the areas that fall under a high security zone.
Earlier, it was reported that anti-national elements and fundamental outfits were camping in the forests near Sabarimala and Erumeli. “We will be deploying more policemen in the coming days,” said ADGP P Chandrasekharan.


۩ Ayyappa DevoteeZ ۩

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