Special squads of police deployed to ensure security
Thousands of devotees thronged the sand banks of the Periyar at Aluva on Thursday for the Mahasivarathri celebrations and to pay obeisance to ancestors.
The ‘balitharpan’ ritual began with the lighting of the Sivarathri lamp at the Lord Siva Temple at midnight. This was preceded by Laksharchana and a special deeparadhana. The rush for balitharpan is likely to continue since it will be a new moon day from Friday afternoon till Saturday. The Devaswom Board had arranged over 250 ‘balitharas’ on the sand banks for the ritual.Free passage
The Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Sangham had made arrangements for 2,000 persons to offer balitharpan at a time. Passage through the temporary footbridge built across the Periyar will remain free till 2 p.m. on Friday.
Meanwhile, a meeting of the Aluva municipal council was held at the temporary municipality office built on the sand banks.
Heavy rush was also experienced at the trade fair and entertainment zones set up by the municipality on the northern side of the sand banks.
Special squads of police personnel in plain clothes had been deployed to ensure security at the festival venue. An excise special squad and bomb detection and disposal squad inspected the sand banks.
Fire force officials and divers were kept ready on boats anchored along the Periyar. Besides, the service of the quick response team had also been made available.