THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: For the first time, offering of Pongala on the premises of the Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple has been prohibited.
An order in this regard was issued by the Temple Security Wing on Tuesday. However, the devotees who were unaware of the order came to the temple premises from the morning itself and arranged hearths to offer Pongala.
“The order has been issued as the area near the Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple was declared a high-security zone by the Supreme Court,” said V C Mohanan, SP, Temple Security Wing.
“Every year, we offer Pongala here. What can we do,” asked Latha, who had booked her place near the temple. Latha had come all the way from Neyyattinkara to participate in the event.
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Meanwhile, police officers in the city convened a high-level meeting to ensure security for the event. Around one hundred police personnel from Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta, Kollam and Kollam Rural have been deployed, leaving no chance for lapses to occur.
The additional policemen who have assigned for duty during the event belong to the Crime Squad and the Shadow Police.
“This is for the first time that we are bringing cops from other districts. Those selected have proved their efficiency in identifying thieves. They could identify the notorious criminals from various parts of the State better,’’ said City Police Commissioner T J Jose.
Along with them, a Shadow Police team has arrived from Tamil Nadu.
As usual, there will also be a medical team, that has been on the temple premises for the past few days, along with an ambulance arranged by the police.
In total, 4,000 cops have been assigned for duty. Though the cops were on alert from the beginning of the Pongala festival, their number has been increased for the day of the grand event.
The personnel include two SPs, 20 DySPs, 40 CIs and civil police officers, among whom 1,000 are women.