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An Indian state has prohibited the use of mobile phones inside the temple premises. The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court has directed the Commissioner of Hindu Religious & Charities Endowments Department to ban cell phones inside the temple premises to maintain the purity and sanctity of temples in Tamil Nadu.

The court issued the order after hearing a public interest case filed by one Seetharaman, seeking a ban on the use of cell phones inside the Arulmigu Subramania Swamy Temple in the state's Tiruchendur.

The court's verdict reads, "In order to ensure the safety of the devotees and protect the sanctity of the temple, the authorities should take steps to prevent the use of cell phones inside the temple premises. The use of cell phones and cameras distracts the devotees".

Noting that there is already a ban on mobile phones in Madurai Meenakshi Amman temple, Sri Krishna Temple in Guruvayur, and Sri Venkateswara Temple in Tirupati, the temple authorities have banned mobile phones in Tiruchendur temple.

Judges R Mahadevan and J Sathyanarayana Prasad unanimously issued the order.

Besides, the court directed the Hindu Religious & Charitable Endowments (HR & CE) Department to follow a decent dress code in all the temples in the states.

Separately, yesterday, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin virtually inaugurated medical centres in five temples for the convenience of devotees visiting the places of worship.

Stalin launched the services at Madurai Meenakshi temple, Irukkankudi Mariamman temple, Bannariamman temple (Bannari, near Erode), Madurai Kallazhagar temple, and the Sankaranarayana Swamy temple at Sankarankovil.

Last year also the state government set up medical facilities in 10 temples.

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