Lord Ayyappa temple sets to open, police tighten security

Last Modified Monday, 5 November 2018 (12:08 IST)
Sabarimala:World famous is set to open at 1700 hrs on Monday as part of 'Chithira Attavisesham,' the birth anniversary celebration of Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma, the ruler of erstwhile Royal Family.
Fearing protest from devotees opposing the SC order allowing the entry for women between 10 and 50 age group, Kerala Police tightened security and deployed more than 5,000 police personnel in an around the hillock temple.
Meanwhile, devotees alleged that police stopped their vehicles at Erumeli and Nilakkal restricting their entry into the temple. However, police sources said the vehicles of devotees will be allowed to go Pamba after 1130 hrs. 
On Sunday, Police stopped media at Nilakkal base and not allowed them to move Pamba. 
However, the media was allowed to enter Sannidanam this morning following allegation that an undeclared ban was imposed on media at Nilakkal, Pamba and Sannidanam, the abode of Lord Ayyappa.
Though the DGP, the Pathanamthitta District Collector and the Police Superintendent on Sunday told there is no ban on media in Sabarimala, the police personnel deployed at Nilakkal, Pamba and Sannidanam asked the media to leave the place based on a direction from their higher officials.
For the first time, Kerala Police deployed a large number of women police at Sannidhanam. 
Reacting to the tensed situation, Kerala BJP President PS Sreedharan Pillai alleged that the CPI (M)-led Pinarayi Government in Kerala has declared a war on devotees coming to Sabarimala. 
The BJP President also said the devotees will not forgive the Government and its plan to break the customs and traditions with the support of huge police force.Reacting to yesterday's media curb in Sabarimala, former Chief Minister and AICC General Secretary Oommen Chandy alleged that the CPI(M)-led Left Government is planning to implement party's secret agenda in Lord Ayyappa temple.
The police became a tool in the hand of CPI(M) Government and the ban on media is part of a secret agenda, Mr Chandy added.BJP General Secretary MT Ramesh said the government will face the ire of people if it goes ahead with its hidden agenda in the name of SC order allowing the entry for women between the age group of 10-50 into the temple. 
Meanwhile, a three-day prohibitory order under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) came into effect from November three night at four places -- Elavunkal, Nilakkal, Pamba and Sannidanam in Pathanamthitta District.About 3,000 police personnel including striking force 'Vajra' and 'Thunderbolt' were deployed at various places in Nilakkal and Pamba.
There were reports that two senior police officials -- Intelligence IG Vinod Kumar and IG P Vijayan, in-charge of security at Sannidanam -- went on leave a day before the opening of the temple.

There is also reports that more officials will go on leave in protest against the Government decision to implement the SC order forcefully. A high-level meeting of top police officials is also being held at Sannidanam to take stock of the situation in the wake of opening of  temple. The Lord Ayyappa temple here will be opened on Monday at 1700 hrs for a one-day Pooja on Tuesday.(UNI)