Sabarimala under total police control

Nov 04, 2018, 09:45 IST | Agencies

In a verdict on September 28, the Supreme Court allowed women of all age groups to enter the temple which led to mass protests

Sabarimala under total police control
Barricades have been laid across the town to control the crowds

The town where the famed Lord Ayyappa shrine is located came under complete police control on Saturday ahead of its day-long opening on November 5, a senior official said.

In a verdict on September 28, the Supreme Court allowed women of all age groups to enter the temple which led to mass protests. Pathanamthitta district Superintendent of Police T Narayanan said that 1,500 police officials have been deployed in the temple town and will remain till the midnight of November 6 when the temple will close again.

He said as of now, there have been no requests from women to enter the shrine. "If there are any requests, the police will see that the Apex Court verdict is completely followed. None other than the pilgrims would be given permission to the designated areas of the temple," Narayanan added.

The security arrangements were being monitored by Additional Director General of Police Anil Kanth. According to the police, no one is allowed to remain in the pathway that leads to the temple, from the Pamba base camp and in the areas closer to the sanctum santorum. Comprehensive traffic arrangements have been made in the Pathnamthitta district.

Restrictions have been clamped for the media too and they will only be allowed to reach the temple town on November 5. The temple complex and nearby areas had witnessed violent protests by Ayyappa devotees against the entry of young women when it was opened for last month's poojas from October 17-22.

At least 12 women had made a vain attempt to trek the hills soon after the Supreme Court verdict permitting women in the 10-50 age group to offer prayers at the famous shrine and had to withdraw after protests by devotees here.

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