Commandos redeployed at Sabarimala temple

The redeployment of the Rapid Action Force (RAF) commandos attached to the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) at the Sabarimala Sannidhanam created some confusion at the hillock on Friday.

According to RAF Deputy Commandant Madhu S. Nair, all the nine commandos of the Central force had been deployed to the rear side of the Ayyappa temple on the directions of the ADGP who is also the chief police co-ordinator at Sabarimala.

Mr. Nair said the Union Home Ministry had deployed the CRPF commandos at Sabarimala in view of the threat posed to major places of worship across the country from terrorist elements. He said the RAF had deployed nine specially trained armed commandos around the sanctum sanctorum of the temple right from the beginning of the annual pilgrim season on November 15.

However, the redeployment, leaving the security of the sanctum in the hands of Thunderbolt commandos of the Kerala Police, has reportedly created confusion in the Central force too. Mr. Nair said he had sent a report, detailing the situation, to the RAF higher-ups. The CRPF has deployed 180 RAF commandos at Sabarimala Sannidhanam, Paandithavalom and Marakkoottom.

IG clarifies

Inspector General of Police Manoj Abraham told The Hindu that there was no confusion over the issue.

He said the redeployment was done with a broader security perspective, after holding talks with the RAF Commandant in Coimbatore.

Mr. Abraham said the specially trained RAF commandos are heavily armed with advanced automatic weapons and the redeployment was to avert chances of accidents in the event of an unprecedented rush at the Tirumuttom, he said. The issue was sorted out by deploying five RAF commandos with smaller weapons at the front portion of the Tirumuttom, the IG said.

He said 55 more RAF commandos would be reaching Sabarimala. More RAF personnel would be deployed at the vulnerable points at Paandithavalom and Marakkoottom, he said.

Mr. Nair also denied any difference of opinion between the Central and State security forces at Sabarimala.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 4:18:49 PM |

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