KOCHI: It's almost certain that this Mandala-Makaravilakku season beginning on November 17 is going to be chaotic at Sabarimala as Kerala Police have been forced to commit itself in ensuring darshan to nearly 550 women aged below 50 who have so far booked dates for darshan using its online portal "sabarimalaq.com".
As intelligence agencies are anticipating a total break down of law and order situation and large-scale violence at Sabarimala if any young woman attempts darshan, much now depends on the outcome when Supreme Court considers a batch of writ petitions on Sabarimala women entry issue for hearing on November 13.
On the last two occasions when Sabarimala temple was opened for five day monthly poojas on October 18 and 'Chithira Atta Vishesham' on November 5 respectively, police were able to dissuade a few woman pilgrims who reached Pampa to trek Sabarimala citing highly volatile law and order situation.
Experts point out that if a young woman who has registered for darshan through Kerala police portal comes to trek Sabarimala, police will be having no other option but to facilitate her darshan because the online booking system is a formal commitment given by the police to a citizen ensuring darshan.
Anticipating total break down of law and order this annual pilgrimage season, police have already started overhauling the security measures that drew blank during the last two occasions.
Kerala Police Chief Loknath Behera told "Express" that the state police have no other option but to abide by the law following the Supreme Court order allowing entry of women in all ages to Sabarimala.
"We are devising specific security mechanism to ensure law and order at Sabarimala and we will enforce it," he said.
Another senior police officer said only when the women devotees approach with the online booking printouts at Nilakkal we will be able to confirm whether it's genuine users or not.
"All the bookings have been made by uploading their photo, furnishing address and date of birth. Anyway, it's going to be a big challenge for the police as already lakhs have booked for darshan using the online portal," the officer said.
As on November 8, a total of 3,26,855 persons have booked for darshan during the pilgrimage season and the daily booking is around 30,000. Data shows that 5607 people have also cancelled the booking so far.