Sabarimala witnesses heavy rush

Ready to act: A commando keeps vigil at the Sabarimala Sannidhanam from a vantage point at Malikappuram.   | Photo Credit: Photo: Leju Kamal

Radhakrishnan Kuttoor

Police regulate pilgrim flow to temple precincts

SABARIMALA: Hundreds of devotees undertook the pilgrimage to the Lord Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala on Saturday amid tight security measures in view of the anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Masjid.

Entry of pilgrims to the temple precincts was strictly regulated. They were subject to security checks at five points — at Neelimala-bottom in the foothills of the Pampa, Marakkoottom, U-Turn, Valiyanadappanthal and at Lower Thirumuttom. The vessels with ghee brought by devotees for the ‘Neyyabhishekom’ were screened with X-ray scanners at the northern gate of the temple. Mobile phones, cameras, etc., were collected at a counter opened by the Travancore Devaswom Board, near Valiyanadappanthal. The police had installed nine cellular phone signal jammers around the sanctum sanctorum. Personnel of the Rapid Action Force attached to Central Reserve Police Force and the State commandos kept vigil.

Staff members and workers on duty at Sabarimala too were permitted to enter the security zone only on producing their photo identity card issued by either the TDB or the department concerned.

“The police have taken every humanly possible task to ensure maximum security at Sabarimala,” said Arun Kumar Sinha, Inspector-General of Police, and T. Vikram, Police special Officer at the Sannidhanam. M. Rajendran Nair, Special Commissioner appointed by the Kerala High Court, and Mr. Sinha are camping at the Sannidhanam.