Hindu outfits camp at Vallakkadavu to prevent women devotees from entering Sabarimala
In view of a possible conflict that would arise between the women devotees and the Hindu outfits, more police personnel have been deployed in the area to ensure that no untoward incidents take place.
IDUKKI: A few Hindu Aikya Vedi and Ayyappa Bhakta Samajam members on Wednesday camped at the Vallakkadavu and Sathram areas, the two traditional forest paths in Idukki which the devotees use en route to Sabarimala, to prevent women devotees from entering into the temple.
However, in view of a possible conflict that would arise between the women devotees and the Hindu outfits, more police personnel have been deployed in the area to ensure that no untoward incidents take place.
The protesters reached Sathram and Vallakkadu by Monday morning presuming that the women devotees will get access to the temple, via these forest paths.
Devotees who reach Vandiperiyar should travel 13 kilometers to reach the Satram forest area, which is under the control of the district forest department. From there, 8 kilometers of arduous trekking is required to reach Pullumedu and another 7 kilometers to reach Sannidhanam.
However, entry to Satram forest will be opened to devotees only during the pilgrimage time. "The entry will be closed for devotees during the rest of time. Hence the chance of devotees particularly entering through the route is almost zero," sources concerning the forest department said.
The forest department had imposed restrictions in walking through the route, after the Pullumedu tragedy, where hundreds of devotees were killed in a human stampede during 2011. Even during the pilgrimage season, the devotees are permitted through the path under a strict vigilance of the forest officials.
While the Sathram - Pullumedu route is allowed from morning 7 am till 1 pm, the Vallakkadavu -Kozhikkanam - Pullumedu route is used on the Makaravilakku day only.