A hard season ahead for Erumeli police - The New Indian Express

A hard season ahead for Erumeli police

Published: 20th November 2012 10:28 AM

Last Updated: 20th November 2012 10:28 AM

The Mullaperiyar issue which broke out between Kerala and Tamil Nadu during the previous pilgrimage season may have been put to rest at least for the time-being, and the incessant flow of pilgrims from Tamil Nadu has gathered momentum even at the beginning of this season.

However, the sufferings of the police, especially in Erumeli, still seem to continue. For the police personnel in the Erumeli section, this season will be more callous than ever, as unscientific arrangements made for special duties and deployment in connection with the Sabarimala season will add to their woes.

The rearrangement of the duties of police personnel in the Erumeli section was made during the previous pilgrimage season considering the Mullaperiyar imbroglio and the ensuing unrest among the people of the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border areas.

Till then, the security responsibilities of the traditional route to Sabarimala, which begin at Erumeli and leads through Kalaketty, Azhuthakadavu, Kallidamkunnu, and Karimala to reach Pampa, had been entrusted to the Kottayam and Idukki police departments.

However, in the previous year, when the row over the Mullaperiyar issue was at its peak, the police personnel from Idukki, including cops from Peruvanthanam and Peermade police stations, were recalled from pilgrim duty to be deployed at the border areas where violence erupted.

Although another season has begun and the Mullaperiyar issue is nowhere to be seen, the police department has not reinstated the fleet from Idukki, which has caused additional burden on the police force from Erumeli.

The Manimala Circle Inspector and Sub Inspector of Erumeli police station should ensure security at the traditional route up to Cheriyanavattom, a dense forest route around 32 km away from Erumeli.

Though three police aid-posts have been installed at Kalaketty, Mukkuzhi and Karimala, the officers have to outdistance the forest route on foot to ensure the effective functioning of the police posts.

“We have to reach Pampa to come to Valiyanavattam or Kuzhimavu, near Koruthodu, to reach Mukkuzhi. Though it is tough to travel in this area, we have to reach these places at least once in a week,” said CI C J Johnson, of Manimala. In addition, when the VIPs visit Erumeli or nearby places, the officers have to turn up for pilot duty even if they are halfway on the forest routes.

Surprisingly, the law and order responsibility of some parts of the routes still rests with the Peermade and Peruvanthanam police stations. “In fact, it creates administrative issues in the police department as the jurisdiction falls within the limits of the police stations of Idukki district,” said S Suresh Kumar, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Kanjirappally. However, since the decision to repeal the Idukki police from these places was taken from the office of the Director-General of Police, putting them back on duty here should be taken from higher levels. Till then, the police personnel from Erumeli have to chant ‘Swamy Saranam’ to ease their burden.

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