Light armoured vehicle to be acquired for commando unit

The police have proposed the acquisition of a light armoured vehicle to augment the security at the Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple.

Officials say it will act as a force multiplier for the commando unit that is on standby as a quick reaction team inside the heritage structure, which shot into global fame after the discovery of ancient treasurers in its subterranean vaults in 2011.

The vehicle will be blast proof with a machine gun mounted on the rooftop. It will run on tyres designed to be fire- and bullet-proof. The “armoured police striker” will be part of a fleet of vehicles, including motorbikes and vans, to be acquired specifically for the temple’s security.

According to police, the “likely threats” to the temple are from “terrorists looking for international mileage, anti-social elements who want to create communal trouble, left extremist aligned atheist groups, international professional thieves, and pirates operating in the Indian Ocean”.

A no-fly-zone backed by an aerial surveillance system, blast proof perimeter walls topped by power fences, seismic sensors to protect the treasure vaults from tunnelling, surveillance cameras, baggage scanners, burglar alarms, and a visitor tracking system are the major components of the multi-level security system being installed at the temple.


Electro-hydraulic bollards, short vertical posts, and road blockers designed to “absorb impact loads up to 1,000 Kilo Newton and stop an eight-tonne vehicle travelling at 80 km per hour” are in the process of being installed in front of the four main entrances of the temple.

At the press of a button, the bollards and blockers will deploy from their underground casings in seconds. Bullet-proof sentry posts fitted with light machine guns to return suppressing fire in the event of an armed attack will cover the approach roads in front of the temple’s main entrances.

A fortified command centre that will “fuse together” all components of the temple’s security system, including its 30-member quick reaction team of “Thunderbolts Kerala” commandos, in the event of an emergency or security threat is planned inside the temple to help law enforcers to “deter, delay, detect, intercept, and react” to threats. State Police Chief K.S. Balasubramanian and ADGP K. Padmakumar are supervising the security scheme devised by IG Manoj Abraham.