Director Gowthaman plea to visit Katchatheevu fest

By PTI Published on Feb 22, 2018 11:36 AM IST

Chennai: A Tamil film director, Gowthaman, has moved the Madras High Court seeking a direction to the Chennai Commissioner of Police to issue no-objection certificate to him to attend the St Antony festival at Katchatheevu, an islet in the Palk Strait.

When the plea came up yesterday before Justice M S Ramesh, the government's side submitted that criminal cases were pending against director Gowthaman.

The judge then adjourned the hearing to 1 April. Gowthaman, who directed movies like Kanave Kalaiyade, submitted that the shrine has been declared a holy place by the Indian and Sri Lankan governments.

He further submitted that there was no need for any passport or Sri Lankan visa for visiting Katchatheevu.

As many as 35 country boats and 106 mechanised vessels ferry pilgrims, most of them from Rameswaram, for the festival, which is going to be held on 23 and 24 February, he said.

"Since the festival gives the participants an opportunity to share hopes and renew tradition, in an area shared harmoniously by Tamils from both countries", Gowthaman said he would like to participate.

He submitted that the church festival committee acknowledged his application for participation but demanded an NOC from the police. Though he applied for it, there has been no response following which he filed the present plea, he submitted.