It will pose security threat to Sabarimala temple: ABASS

The move by the Police Department to webcast the crowd situation at Sabarimala on the Kerala Police website has met with resistance from the Akhila Bharatha Ayyappa Seva Sanghom (ABASS) and various Hindu organisations.

The police have installed 20 cameras at select points from Pampa to the Sannidhanam that are linked to a control room as part of security arrangements in the wake of reported threats from outside. Police sources at Sabarimala told The Hindu that the system had enabled them to scan the entire Pampa-Sannidhanam trekking path, Valiyanadappanthal, Lower Tirumuttom, etc.

The police said the decision to webcast the crowd situation at different points in Pampa on the Kerala Police website was taken with a view to helping devotees plan their pilgrimage accordingly.

Police sources at Sabarimala said Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan would inaugurate the Sabarimala link to the Kerala Police website at a function at Pampa on December 11.

D. Vijayakumar, vice-president of Akhila Bharatha Ayyappa Seva Sanghom, said webcasting the crowd situation would do more harm than good to the pilgrim centre from a security perspective. He urged the government to drop the move.

Sabarimala Ayyappa Seva Samajom general secretary Kummanam Rajashekharan said the police move would only increase the security risk at Sabarimala. He said there was every reason to suspect commercial interests of certain police quarters behind the controversial decision. He said it would only create confusion among Ayyappa devotees browsing the website, not to speak of the security threat to the Ayyappa temple.

Mr. Rajashekharan called upon the Home Minister to drop the move and instead streamline the machinery for better crowd management.