Damaged gold mast repaired in Sabarimala; security to be beefed up

The 'panchavargathara', the square base, of the flag mast at the Lord Ayyappa temple was found damaged by mercury like substance, yesterday within hours of its installation.

Published: 26th June 2017 03:20 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th June 2017 03:20 PM   |  A+A-

Sabarimala temple


SABARIMALA: The gold-plated flag mast at the famed Lord Ayyappa Temple here, which was found damaged soon after it was installed yesterday, has been repaired and restored to its old glory.

In view of the incident, the Travancore Devaswom Board, which manages the hill shrine, has decided to strengthen the security from the downhill Nilackal to the 'sannidhanam', the temple premises, a top official said.

"We are planning to install a new security system that will enable us to scan and monitor pilgrims as well as vehicles from Nilackal onwards," TDB President Prayar Gopalakrishnan told PTI.

The 'panchavargathara', the square base, of the flag mast at the Lord Ayyappa temple was found damaged by using some chemical, suspected to be mercury, yesterday afternoon.

According to police, as many as five persons, hailing from Vijayawada in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, were taken into custody in connection with the incident.

Gopalakrishnan said the damage was rectified in the night itself.

"We could rectify the damage of the mast in the night itself," he told PTI.

He said those taken into custody had claimed that they sprayed mercury along with some other substance as part of a custom prevailing in their home state.

"They said that there is a custom in their state to pour a drop of mercury at the bottom of the mast. But we do not know whether what they said was true or not," he said.

The Andhra natives had been taken into custody soon after the incident based on CCTV visuals at the temple premises.

Range IG Manoj Abraham today held a review meeting in Pathanamthitta district to take stock of the situation in the wake of the development.

Police are looking into all aspects, including whether there was any larger conspiracy behind the incident.

The teakwood mast, covered using 9.16 kg of gold, 300 kg of copper and 17 kg of silver, was ceremonially installed by the head priest Kandararu Rajeevararu after performing purification rituals yesterday morning.

The damage was noticed in the afternoon after the rituals were over.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran had directed police to carry out a detailed enquiry into the incident and apprehend the culprits.

Sabarimala, dedicated to Lord Ayyappa, attracts millions of devotees across the country and abroad during the three month annual pilgrimage season from November-January.

Stay up to date on all the latest Kerala news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp